August 20, 2015 | by: Angela Karum | 5 Comments
Posted in: Identity
I used to enjoy watching “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS. It was fascinating to see someone who brought an item to be appraised, such as a painting bought at a yard sale for $5, and it turned out to be painted by a famous artist and worth $500,000 at auction. What seemed to be insignificant and disposable was really a treasure.
We measure our worth in many ways – how much money we make, what kind of house and neighborhood we live in, the type of car we drive, what level of education we’ve accomplished and the letters behind our name, what we look like, how in shape we are, how clean and organized our house is, what we do for a living, who our friends are, what we’ve accomplished, how well-behaved our kids are -- the list is endless. But underneath our diligent efforts to make something of ourselves, is a nagging sense that we really are worthless and that our value is nothing.
I spent most of my life striving to be perfect and good enough. My worth was based on how well I performed, how well I pleased the people around me, how well I pleased God. Every day began with an unconscious drive to do everything with excellence and at the end of the day, if everyone was pleased and I had met the “standard of perfection” then I was satisfied. But, if there was any disappointment or failure or criticism of my performance, I felt crushed and ashamed, resolving to work harder and do better the next day.
It was exhausting.
Eventually, life became more difficult. The demands of perfect performance became too heavy and I couldn’t keep everything together. I couldn’t do it well enough, I couldn’t please everyone and it drove me into depression. Admitting my depression made me even more ashamed because a good Christian is “supposed to be happy.” After all, look at how much God has done for me despite how undeserving I am of His love and grace. How could I be depressed?
In the safe presence of a trusted friend, I went into this deep, painful place in my soul….acknowledging to God that I can’t be perfect, that I am not good enough, that I am worthless. Even to say those words out loud made me sad and ashamed, afraid to look at Him.
But the Lord responded by reminding me of Antiques Roadshow – that value is determined by who made it and the price someone is willing to pay.
He made me. And the price He was willing to pay for me was His own life. There is nothing of greater value and worth in the universe than the life of the Lord Jesus.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you by your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16
In God’s appraisal, we are worth His life. That makes every other standard of our worth and value irrelevant.
Our value is immeasurable to Him. We are His treasure.
Angela Karum, mother of two teenagers and Florida resident since 2008, fills her free time hunting treasures in used book stores and sipping Nutella lattes with friends. Her compassionate heart and ready smile belie an adventurous spirit cultivated during her childhood in the Amazon jungle.