Monday, April 18, 2016

What I've Been Thinking

I'd like to get a little personal as I write this, and I hope that's ok with you.

I serve a church as their pastor.  And it's a really good church.  New Calvary Baptist is her name, and I care about the people there greatly.

Like every church on the planet, we have normal ups and downs.

Some Sunday's, the pews are mostly full.  Some Sunday's, they're not.

Some Sunday's, I feel like the sermon I preach connects and hits home with the people.  Some Sunday's, I don't.

Do you know why that is?  It's how life goes.  Some times in life, things click perfectly.  Other times, they don't.  That's just how the cookie crumbles for all of us.

And here's what I've been thinking:  I can't base my sense of worth on how things go with my pastoral ministry.  If the way I feel about myself is dependent on how many people are in the pews or how folks respond to my preaching, I'll be on an emotional roller coaster, feeling up one moment and down the next.  That's no way to live.

I'm thinking my identity and value need to be based on The Lord.  The way I see it, He created me out of His own free will and saved me by His amazing grace.  He indwells me personally and loves me deeply.  My inner sense of wholeness and worth need to be based on Him.

Do I care about the church?  Absolutely!  I'm committed to them and happy with them.  But I also realize I can't base the way I feel about myself on what they do or how they respond.  That's not fair to them or me!  I have to base the way I feel about myself on what God says and does.

Why am I telling you this?  I guess partially I'm just thinking out loud and journaling what I'm learning.  But there's another reason, and it's probably obvious by now:  You also need to make sure your own identity and value are based on The Lord.  Don't let your self-esteem be founded on your bank account, social status, or work achievements.  You'll drive yourself nuts if you do!  Just keep in mind that God made you, saved you, and loves you.  And no matter what else happens in life, that makes you special.  That gives you value.  That's plenty of evidence that proves you really do matter.

Yep, you and I mean something.  Not because of what people say or do.  Far from it!  We mean something because of what God says and does.  May we always remember to find our sense of worth in Him.

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