“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.”

– John 1:12

FINDING SELF-WORTH

Many of us in the marketplace are pushed to believe our value rests in our net worth not our self-worth. We spend a lifetime surrounded by the message that our value lies in how much we earn, what are car looks like, or if we have the latest and greatest. We never seem to reach that golden ring these messages tell us exists. The effect of all this is a reduction in confidence and self-worth.

“Many of us in the marketplace are pushed to believe our value rests in our net worth not our self-worth.”

We are influenced subtly by our culture, our friends, our family, and even our thought life. They all conspire both innocently and purposefully to undermine our confidence. As we continue our journeys, we find ourselves stuck in a world that lionizes size-two Hollywood starlets or people with ten thousand-square-foot homes. We over analyze ourselves and find we don’t match up to these images. The overly analytical critique sears our souls and drives us deeper in the wrong direction.

Like all formulas, if the input is wrong, the answer is wrong. We have all heard the expression “garbage in garbage out.” In many of my counseling sessions I hear the silent voice that says, Why don’t they want me? But I see a different picture in these people. I see bright and enthusiastic people who want to lead a good life. God sees the same thing and says so in Genesis 1:27, where it states “So God created humankind in God’s image, in the Image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This is a powerful assertion of the value God places in each of us. We are like God.

“We need to reach down and change the input from our own to God’s.”

So how do we from the marketplace defend ourselves from our own overly critical analyses and cultural influences? We receive Jesus and believe in his name, as the Book of John advises us. But we also have to live out this inheritance both internally and externally. We need to reach down and change the input from our own to God’s. We are made in God’s image. Our outward expressions to our neighbors should simulate this same act of love that God expresses to us. At Starbucks, build up the life of the barista and from our hearts wish him or her a good day. At the grocery store thank the clerk for their hard work. Never tire of doing good with a heart formed in love. Both the inner expressions to ourselves and the outer expressions to others will gird our self-worth. Over time the importance of net worth will fade and be replaced with the value of self-worth. Our priorities will change, and life will seem brighter. We are all children of God.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Where do we spend our money? Is our credit card statement a reflection of our self-worth or net worth?

Do we allow others to make us forget how God thinks about us?

Do you treat everyone like a child of God?

field of red flowers

“When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi,’ (which translated means Teacher) ‘where are you staying?’”

— John 1:38

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, had a difficult life up to the age of sixty-five. He had countless jobs, was divorced, and had just received his first Social Security check of one hundred dollars. After a lifetime of failure, he tried one more business venture. He began traveling the back country to convince restaurant owners to buy his chicken recipes and his fryer. Many nights he slept in his car to meet the owners in the morning. Initially he received hundreds of rejections. Finally, a restaurant bought the fryer and the recipes, which led to other sales. Soon his business was earning him a thousand dollars a day. After only a few years he sold it for $2 million.

His pastor related, “He suddenly raised his head and looked at me and said that it was the first time in his life he had ever experienced the presence of Christ within his heart.”

Colonel Sanders had worked on the railroad, been a hired hand to a farmer, owned a hotel, and had many other jobs. At sixty-five, destitute, he asked God to help him with his business. For many years after he believed he was successful because of God. He gave to charity, tithed, attended church on a regular basis. But he still hadn’t fully grasped what he was looking for. There still was a void inside. At seventy-five, while attending church, he was asked to pray, to ask God to forgive him and take mercy on him. His pastor related, “He suddenly raised his head and looked at me and said that it was the first time in his life he had ever experienced the presence of Christ within his heart.”

“Like many of us, they wanted their hearts to be connected to God through Jesus.”

Jesus is walking on a road and is followed by two men. Sensing their presence, he turns and asks them, “What are you looking for?” It was the same thing Colonel Sanders was looking for. To be with Jesus and have Jesus in their hearts. They wanted to know Jesus, beyond just doing good. They wanted to know that they were forgiven and that Jesus would have mercy on them. They wanted to have the presence of Christ in their hearts. They wanted a deeper relationship than just knowing Christ existed and was good. Like many of us, they wanted their hearts to be connected to God through Jesus. They knew it was more than just doing good and working hard. It was a connection that creates a sense of finding what you are looking for.

One of Colonel Sanders’s famous quotes is “I lost half my vocabulary when I found Jesus, I had to stop cussing.”

One of Colonel Sanders’s famous quotes is “I lost half my vocabulary when I found Jesus, I had to stop cussing.” Matthew Henry called this experience “an awakened soul.” It is a communion between our souls and Christ. It is Christ who begins the conversation, by asking us, “What are you looking for?” When we hear this question in our inner castle, the process of fully accepting Jesus has begun. The conversation starts, and we begin the journey of leaving other thoughts behind. We begin to focus on answering this question. We search, we  look, and eventually we discover we are looking for the presence of Jesus in our hearts.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

How do we feel Jesus?

What experiences of this have we had?

Have we found what we are looking for?

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.”

– John 1:12

FINDING SELF-WORTH

Many of us in the marketplace are pushed to believe our value rests in our net worth not our self-worth. We spend a lifetime surrounded by the message that our value lies in how much we earn, what are car looks like, or if we have the latest and greatest. We never seem to reach that golden ring these messages tell us exists. The effect of all this is a reduction in confidence and self-worth.

“Many of us in the marketplace are pushed to believe our value rests in our net worth not our self-worth.”

We are influenced subtly by our culture, our friends, our family, and even our thought life. They all conspire both innocently and purposefully to undermine our confidence. As we continue our journeys, we find ourselves stuck in a world that lionizes size-two Hollywood starlets or people with ten thousand-square-foot homes. We over analyze ourselves and find we don’t match up to these images. The overly analytical critique sears our souls and drives us deeper in the wrong direction.

Like all formulas, if the input is wrong, the answer is wrong. We have all heard the expression “garbage in garbage out.” In many of my counseling sessions I hear the silent voice that says, Why don’t they want me? But I see a different picture in these people. I see bright and enthusiastic people who want to lead a good life. God sees the same thing and says so in Genesis 1:27, where it states “So God created humankind in God’s image, in the Image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This is a powerful assertion of the value God places in each of us. We are like God.

“We need to reach down and change the input from our own to God’s.”

So how do we from the marketplace defend ourselves from our own overly critical analyses and cultural influences? We receive Jesus and believe in his name, as the Book of John advises us. But we also have to live out this inheritance both internally and externally. We need to reach down and change the input from our own to God’s. We are made in God’s image. Our outward expressions to our neighbors should simulate this same act of love that God expresses to us. At Starbucks, build up the life of the barista and from our hearts wish him or her a good day. At the grocery store thank the clerk for their hard work. Never tire of doing good with a heart formed in love. Both the inner expressions to ourselves and the outer expressions to others will gird our self-worth. Over time the importance of net worth will fade and be replaced with the value of self-worth. Our priorities will change, and life will seem brighter. We are all children of God.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Where do we spend our money? Is our credit card statement a reflection of our self-worth or net worth?

Do we allow others to make us forget how God thinks about us?

Do you treat everyone like a child of God?