Sometimes I catch myself scrolling through other people’s meticulously filtered Instagram pics or LinkedIn profiles a little too hard. Wow, everyone is doing so much! Why don’t I ever do exciting things like that? I’ve done such and such, but why haven’t I had a job like that one?
I’ve always gone to private school. Early on, the rigorous learning environment made me a lover of learning with a strong work ethic and a powerful internal drive to do my best. I was and am surrounded by peers who have achieved unbelievable things thus far in their lifetimes. The alumni are established leaders in their respective fields; many are wealthy. And recently, I had the privilege of graduating from SMU in Dallas, where it’s not uncommon to see a row of students’ Louis Vuitton tote bags on the bench of the gym. Students of both of the institutions that raised me and those that are similar are surrounded by achievements and worldly success that constantly reminds them of all that they must do to “make it.”
I am blessed to have studied in these top-level institutions, but I also noticed that growing up in an atmosphere saturated by worldly success made me feel like I was never doing enough even though I was always busy. Many times during college and high school, I had to ask myself whether I was adding more to my plate just to set myself apart, or because that activity was what God was encouraging me to do. I heard a message at my college youth group one Wednesday evening that has stuck with me, and everyone should hear it at least once: nothing you do can change your value in the eyes of God.
Our society often tries to convince us that our identity and worth is defined by what we do, where we work, and who we know. In reality, that’s toxic. That prestigious job, leadership role, or extra honors course do not give you value as a person. You matter and you’ve always mattered because you are a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1: 26-27, Psalm 139:14). You matter because you were called “good” by the author of the universe. You matter so much, in fact, that God sent His son to die so that you could be blameless. Incredibly, nothing you do or don’t do, will or won’t do can change your immense worth and value in the eyes of God.
So rather than facing the world with the burden of having to “make it,” to maintain or surpass the worldly success that our society is consumed with, God made it so you can smile courageously in knowing that you already have. We are free to hopefully and wholeheartedly pursue God’s good works and unique callings for our lives with the confidence that He will always take care of those He values.
Thanks for climbing! Feel free to share your thoughts with me!