A couple weeks ago my small group discussed Luke 14. Jesus tells the Pharisees a parable about guests at a wedding banquet. Jesus says in Luke 14:11 (NIV) “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” This led to a discussion about being humble and about our self worth. I realized that it is easier to be humble when we are rooted in our identity in Christ. We are aware that what others say or think about us doesn’t matter. How others treat us doesn’t matter either. We, as Christians, are children of God. Our worth is found in Jesus and the fact that He died on a cross to save us. We matter to Him. How society views us is not important.
It wasn’t until today that I realized how this applies to my life specifically. I’ve been dealing with an issue with someone for a couple of years. It’s pretty simple really, I paid for something, but have yet to receive what I paid for. There have been many conversations about it and plans to resolve the issue. But, it’s taking a while. Every time I think about it, I get angry. Months go by and then I remember again. The anger can be consuming. This morning, I was reflecting on why it makes me so angry. A light bulb went off. It’s because I’ve tied it to my self worth. This issue has made me feel unimportant, forgotten about, not cared for or valued. When I untangle my sense of worth from the issue, I am no longer angry about it. When I remember who I am in Christ, I realize that I am valued, loved, cared for, and remembered. God sees me and knows me. I don’t need others to feel good about myself.
I know that I do the same thing in lots of areas in my life. I hold onto offenses and let them dictate who I am. When another driver cuts me off, I get annoyed and it chips away at my identity. When the barista gets my drink wrong for the umpteenth time, I get frustrated and wonder why nobody cares to listen to me. When someone forgets to call me back, I feel unloved. I’ve tied who I am into how others treat me.
Today, I am recognizing how my thought process needs to change. I know I will forget, but as I focus on God more and listen to Him, I can choose His voice over the voice of others.