Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
John 18:36 “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.’”
John 15:19 “‘If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.’” (words of Jesus Christ)
John 17:14-16 “‘I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.’” (words of Jesus Christ)
I Chronicles 29:11 “‘Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.’” (words of King David)
Despite the worldview you proclaim, there is such a propensity to draw our significance and value from this world. Let’s get specific with this thought. Many of us want to have an influence in this world … we want to leave this world a better place than we found it … we want to know in the end that we have had an impact. What that may specifically look like varies from one individual to another, often based upon what stirs our heart and stokes our passion. Some may measure their contributions by physical criteria, such as athletic achievements or the size of their business or personal holdings. Others may gage their success by how much they have helped others less fortunate than they. Between these two are countless other measures of personal accomplishment. The commonality, however, is that culture has generally defined what that measure of accomplish is. We fall into a trap, however, when this determines our self-worth, because it is simply a matter of time before what we think determines our worth or value bleeds over into defining who we are.
One important question I have to ask is this: “Who on earth has the authority to determine the definition of success?” In other words, have I granted someone else permission to conclude whether my life is of value or not? Have I agreed with their grading system? Have I allowed the world to make me? If I have, then I am responsible for my own feelings of failure or depression if I don’t measure up to their standards. And by the way, under this tyrannical regime, how much success will be enough?
On the other hand, an even more important question is this: “Should my self-value or self-esteem really be determined by worldly success anyway?” To do this assumes that you and I are the ones responsible for the outcome of our endeavors. Are we really in control of the results of our decisions and efforts? If we answer yes to this question, then we have a higher regard for our abilities than we really should. I have very little control in this world, and so do you. As formidable as we may feel, the truth is we are absolutely powerless. God is the sovereign One – He is the One in control – He is the One responsible for the outcomes, the results – He is “head over all” as King David said. If God, and not ourselves, is the author of the outcomes, then should not my self-worth be based upon Him? Should I not see myself through His eyes, and believe what He says of me? What He has already determined will make my day … and yours too if you look to Him for your identity!!