What sets us apart from others in life? Why is it that some people take so long to find the real purpose of their lives? How can the meaning of life be found? We pursue the answers to these questions starting at a very young age and continue our quest through adulthood, until we are old. Our self-worth is too often based on what others think of us. We crave validation for who we are and long to be appreciated and adored. Many of us pursue excellence in sports, business success, possessions, good looks, music, entertainment, sex, relationships, wealth, good deeds (doing good to others). We perfect skills and other talents that we have developed over the years, yet we still feel empty inside. Why is there such a void? And what can we do to fill it? You may have everything – education, a good job, money, a comfortable lifestyle, and even a loving family surrounding you, but you’re still looking for that one elusive quality which will complete you.
Growing up I didn’t have the opportunity to try different activities in order to find out what interested me or what I was good at. The lifestyle that we had prevented my pursuit of sports, various studies or any other extra-curricular activities. I looked to my parents and other grownups to find my value and direction in life. When it was time for me to go to college, I ended up studying something that I didn’t like. This field of study was important to my parents and other influential people in my life, but not to me. I was forced to complete the four years of college, and yes, I did receive that darned degree! A few years later I went back to school, studied what I really liked and was pleased to discover that I’m actually good at it.
Even though I was finally doing what I loved, I was still not satisfied – there was a void inside, an emptiness within me that nothing could fill. Then God showed up in my life (you can read how this happened in two of my early posts under the titles: 1 – “My Dreams And Visions Become Reality” and 2 – “A Moment Of Epiphany”) and my perspective shifted from who I was to who He is.
While I was looking at life from the Lord’s viewpoint, I came across a pastor who was teaching online from Grace Gospel church. He shared the following: “We all have asked ourselves this question at one time or another, ‘What is the purpose and meaning of life?’ The good news is – Who you are is not for you to decide, it’s for you to discover.” I love how he summarized the meaning of our purpose and how it is connected to self-worth. Simple and right to the point.
To find what God has purposed for me, I planted myself in God’s word. The most powerful revelation was when I recognized my identity only in God, based on who he is, not on who I am. King Solomon (Prophet Sulayman), who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, was a very wealthy man. He had wisdom beyond any man’s wisdom in his time or our time, and he was surrounded by beautiful women. He had palaces, the best food and wine, anything you can imagine. Yet he said the following in chapter 1: “Life under the sun”—Life lived as though all there is to life is what we can see with our eyes and experience with our senses—is meaningless. Why is there such a void?
He is realized that God created us for something beyond what we can experience in here-and-now. Solomon went on and said of God, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). What this man of great wisdom is telling us is that everything we have in here-and-now will never give us what God has already planned for us. Again comes the question – Why do we continue to seek to guide our own lives, with the resultant emptiness, when instead we can choose to pursue God and His will for our lives? Doing so will result in our living life to the full, having the desires of our hearts met, and finding contentment and satisfaction. This is true because our Creator loves us and desires the best for us.
Those who live in the worry, anxiety, depression, and doubt born of their unbelief, find themselves exhausted after circling the world in an attempt to find their value and the one thing which would complete them. They are looking for deliverance and contentment. Unfortunately they come back empty handed because of their lack of knowledge of who they are in God and their identity in Christ. Their lack of faith results in defeat. Ignorance can lead to failure. But with God’s timing and mercy, it’s never too late.
Sometimes, the world yells at us, “You can never measure up!” That is because others see your worth through their own limited knowledge. But God’s knowledge is limitless. He whispers, “You are always enough.” He sees us as complete and worthy. Our God is a mighty God, who has never made anything or anyone worthless. The work of his hands is flawless. You are precious to Him. That is why he sent Jesus to take your place on the cross. You are loved by the Creator of the world and he made you with his own hands. The work of his hands (you) is valuable and worthy of His praise. Our true self-worth is in Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, proving once for all time just how valuable we really are to God. Our identity rests in Him alone. Our sins are covered by the blood of Christ Jesus. No weapon can form against you and me to tell us otherwise.
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
His word tells us that God created us for a purpose. Our purpose in life is to be a blessing to others. I have learned the reason we are here on earth is to learn how to love God and His creation. Since God blesses us with His love, we cannot keep the blessing only to ourselves. We must share it with others. At the same time, we must stop allowing others to define us. Rick Warren once said, “Living by your value is a life with integrity – and you will be rewarded.”
I now know that I am not defined by the opinions of others, my feelings or my circumstances. Only God identifies me as His own. Once I learned of my position in Christ, the strongholds (worthless things) in my life came crumbling down. I refuse to compromise my values or bend the rules that are given to me by God. I will do my best to act in love. As it is, I am a work in progress. The process maybe slow, but I am surely moving in the right direction.
Real meaning in life is not found only by accepting Jesus as Savior (as amazing that is) but also by listening to his teaching and following Him as His disciple. Jesus replied to His disciples in Luke 10:27, ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
As soon as we begin to obey His first command, everything else begins to fall into place. We are finally able to find the precious jewel (our value) right at home without circling the world. It may be discovered through a stranger, friend, neighbor, home church, or a loved one. No need to go too far. Just look for it with an open mind and heart as you go about your daily life.
From my own experience, I have a friendly suggestion: The next time you wonder about your identity, value, and worth, please don’t hesitate to open the Bible. Whether you are an unbeliever, a new Christian or a seasoned follower in the faith, the truth is found in the word of God. Soak in His word, spend some time with Him, and walk with Him in obedience to His commands. As you apply God’s word to your life, change starts to take place in you and in the lives of others around you. You begin to live in a place where you are a daily witness of God’s goodness and deliverance.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE VALUABLE AND WORTHY OF HIS SACRIFICE!