Join “Women Equipping Women” – the Online Apologetics Conference 2014, Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25.
Register and receive free access to the archives, so you can listen at your leisure — 16 sessions for only $21.
I’ll be speaking tomorrow morning at 9 am (Pacific Time) on the Teleological Argument, and how it ties in with purpose and worth. Would love to see you there!
Until then, enjoy a glimpse into tomorrow’s session:
It’s a journey to find truth – sometimes a long journey – just as it is a journey to find purpose. Last week, my husband brought home a movie, Mom’s Night Out. He was immensely amused by the first few minutes, because the movie starts off with a mother of three children blogging about her crazy mommy-life. I’m a mother of three children, and I’m a blogger. I blog about parenting, and … well, let’s just say I could relate to the mother, who was somewhat obsessive about cleanliness.
After a miserable Mother’s Day, the woman tells her husband that the life she is living is the life she always imagined. Marrying a wonderful guy. Being a mother. She felt a sense of purpose. But she asked her husband, “Why am I not happy?”
That deep question of her heart was not answered right away. But part of the answer came one night, after a fiasco of an evening. She turned to an acquaintance and expressed her concerns about not being enough for her family, for her friends, or her children. Not being enough for God.
The guy listening offered another prepositional phrase: For you. “You’re not enough for you.” That was the bottom line, in a way. The character understood her purpose. She was living her dream, but she was forgetting (or maybe just too busy to realize) that her worth was not measured by the sum total of her achievements as a mother, as a wife, or as a friend. Beyond all that, in spite of all that, she was defined by her worth in Christ. God loved her, and He was not using the same measuring stick she had been using. His “measuring stick” looks a lot different from how we picture it.
We tend to look at accomplishments, charitable deeds, good thoughts, kind words as the measure of our worth. Yes, those mean something. They make a difference. But they don’t determine God’s love towards us nor His acceptance of us. There is no ledger that God keeps to determine whether or not we will enter Heaven when this life is over. Many confuse the commandments of the Old Testament with the fulfillment of the New, concluding that our ticket to acceptance by God rests upon our actions. That our worth is determined by achievements.
But how does this really play out with God? When Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son, he compared two brothers. In children’s books, the story often ends at the return of the younger son home to his father, with the killing of the fatted calf, and the party invitations. But someone ignored the invitation. He stayed outside, sulking. Why? The elder brother judged his worth by his achievements. More importantly, he judged his brother’s worth by his achievements. And his sibling’s actions did not measure up with his father’s reactions. When the older brother compared it against his own achievements, he came to one conclusion: Not fair.
The older brother understood something of his purpose, and he was determined to fulfill it. But he lacked understanding of his true worth. It was not about his accomplishments. It was about his father’s love.