As an American businessman living and running a company in Germany, the exchange rate was a very important factor in my dad’s everyday life. He’d get up in the morning.. check the weather, the headlines and peek at the ever-fluctuating value of the dollar against what was then the pre-Euro, German Mark.
Fast forward a few decades and I also have friends who wake up in the morning, check their Facebook feed, and calculate their value by comparing themselves against the lives of their 598 “friends.”
Sally just got married (I’m still single)
Jim took at trip to Bali (I haven’t had a day off in months)
Mary lost 50 pounds (I just let my gym membership expire)
Tim landed a new glam job (I’m making minimum wage)
and the real kicker…
Tammy ate at some fab restaurant last night (I heated up McDonald’s left-overs)
Our personal valuation can’t help but take a hit every time we compare ourselves against a standard created from a collage of everyone else’s best moments.
It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized I could abandon this constant pressure to measure up.
I learned that my value is securely grounded in God’s steadfast, never changing love for me. This value doesn’t wax and wane depending on how much I make, what I do (good or bad) or how I look. He isn’t monitoring me on some celestial instagram feed to make sure I’m measuring up..
“The LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
There is a sense of freedom that accompanies the realization that my value is firmly rooted in my relationship with a God of steadfast grace, compassion and love who sent his only son to save me.
Eternal life in heaven isn’t a reward for perfect people, it’s a gift completely unrelated to human performance. Sadly, there are many who simply cannot accept the thought that their destiny is not tied to personal effort OR that someone else they may consider a complete loser could share equally in God’s gracious inheritance..but it’s true.
Our salvation isn’t tied to what I do, it rests squarely on what He did.
Of course none of this means that I stop trying to become a better version of myself..but my efforts at self-improvement take place within the context and security of my relationship with God who paid the price for every single one of my shortcomings.
And that exchange right there is the only one that matters.