Faith, Personal Growth

Day 21: The Size of My Pile Quantifies My Value

Yellow Mountain, NC Mistaken Identity #3: By the things I have, I am what I am.

I stand in my closet full of clothes and have nothing to wear. I feel frumpy.  But that new purse I bought puffs me up, especially when you say you like it!

I pensively pilfer through my piles of shoes. I’m at a loss. I feel out of style. But walking in my new funky boots, I have a little more swag in my step.

I scan the cute outfit ensembles on Pinterest. Then, I go to Target and TJ Maxx and put together my own little “copy outfit.” I am sassy and a bit more confident and young.

Every time I walk by my dining room and see my turquoise chandelier, my lips curve into a smile. I did that and I like it! I am modern and fresh.

So much of what I have dictates who I am. Clothes, shoes, house, even the collection of family pictures and experiences posted on Facebook. I hoard them all into one massive pile in my heart. I like to climb up on top, stomp my foot, and say “This is who I am!” It feels good to quantify my value. A big pile of stuff…that’s me.

Finding my identity in the junk I own only drives me to get more, to operate within a value system of getting in order to be. I find my worth, value, identity in what I can accumulate.

If I get the new minivan with the vacuum inside, then I’ll be the best mom, maybe more patient because my car with always be clean (wink-wink).

If I get those UGG slippers, then I’ll be cool (with toasty feet).

If I get the trendiest purse I saw all over Pinterest, then I’ll be admirable.

Along a dusty road, we meet up with a rich, young man who had money, possessions, honor, respect, position, power. A lot but not everything. He was missing a forever purpose.  Eternal life.

He had heard of Jesus. Determined to get an answer to solve his eternal problem, he found Jesus and asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)

Jesus in all his compassion and wisdom gently led this young, rich man to the bottom line: give it all up and follow me (Matthew 19: 21).

Within that answer held the one thing the rich, young man could not do, would not do. If he did, who would he be? What would others say of him? His security would be gone. His identity would be gone. All his effort would count for nothing. He just couldn’t. So he walk away so very sad (Matthew 19:22).

The truth…the size of God’s love for me looms majestically above my piddly mound of effort-based accumulations. I sell myself short when I build my worth on what I have. It may not mean to literally sell all I have. But I do need to evaluate how tightly I hold onto what I have and to re-calibrate my value on what lasts forever.

He loves me. He loves me. I am loved.  The view is free and gorgeous from the mountain of His love.

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This post is a part of a 31 day series. Find other 31 Dayers at The Nester’s.