Finding Your Value

Last week, my older daughter exclaimed, “Well you don’t have a job!”  This comment followed her request of when she could get a tattoo, to which I replied, “When you are out of college and have your own job.”  Let’s just say she got an explanation of what my “job” is and took a few steps back in her rush to grow up.

But her comment got me thinking.  When I left my corporate job to stay at home, it took me a long time to wrap my head around what my worth to the universe was now that I didn’t bring home a paycheck.  This is a transition a lot of stay-at-home Moms make.  You go from making deals to making meals with your schedule dictated by who-needs-to-go-where and the basics of what keeps your house running functionally.  (Or at least well enough that your husband doesn’t ask when you can start working again to re-hire the housekeeper.)

I have no intention of entering the discussion on whether women should work or should be at home.  That is a decision every family must decide on their own, based on what God wants for their lives.  My intention here is to bring to the table what has been bothering me: where do I get my worth?

On the days I’m less busy, there’s a little devil on my shoulder whispering, “You are not contributing!  You have nothing to show for your effort!”  The fewer the items I’ve checked off my list, the worse grade I give myself.  It is this mindset that trips me up because I am looking to someone or something else to validate how much I matter.  Maybe for you that’s a paycheck, a relationship or, like me, a to-do list.

Genesis 31:19 contains an interesting word to describe this phenomenon – teraphim.  It means “little gods” and they caused the whole ruckus between Jacob and Laban.  It wasn’t really his daughters Laban was after – it was these little statues that mattered most to him.  We no longer make figures like this per say, but our lives reflect how we define our worth.  A new car, a bigger paycheck, a better wardrobe, or even well-behaved children – anything that defines our value other than our standing with Christ we can safely call a teraphim.

I’ve figured something out about these little gods.  They wear me out.  I must continually perform.  Neither they nor I are ever truly satisfied.  I must continually do for them and for me.  But that is not the way with Jesus.  He said it over and over again – to Martha, to His Disciples, to any and everyone.  He nails it on the head in Matthew 11:28.  In His presence we don’t have to perform to be loved; we just have to be there.

Good, bad or ugly – we are already known to Him, so there is nothing to achieve.  He has done it all for us so we can relax.  It is life changing to find a relationship we get more out of than we put in.  It does take practice, but you gain peace, joy and strength in the process.  Try starting your day with a drink of Living Water.  It will restore and refresh your soul, so you will no longer need those little gods and be able to bless others in abundance!

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