Fill in the blank. My life matters if and only if:
- I have a prestigious position in my field
- I’m considered beautiful
- the “cool kids” are my friends
- my body is chiseled/I am slim and sleek/am a certain weight
- I have a head of hair (as an adult male)
- I drive a luxury car
- I’m in high society
- I have a certain amount of Twitter, FB, or blog followers
- I’m famous
- people trip over themselves to get my attention
- I’m in a relationship/married
- I have children
- I’m 50 years old or younger
- I have a high IQ
- I live in a prestigious neighborhood
- I have more than a 3.6 million dollar bonus
- my skin is a certain color
- I get into a prestigious program/school
- people affirm me
- I have lots of money
The above are some I thought of off of the top of my head. Personally, what have I had to fight back against lately? My Life Matters If And Only If…
- I sell a certain number of books
- certain people notice me
- I’m younger than I actually am
- my body is a certain composition (which is hard when I’m two days away from being 8 months pregnant)
Tonight I had to remind myself of this truth, a truth I remind myself of over and over: what God cares about the most is that I love him and love those who he puts in my path (and of course that I love myself, that I am kind to myself, and gracious towards myself as he is towards me).
When I stand before God I will not be judged by how many books I sold or who noticed me. I won’t be judged by my age or my body composition. I will not. Life is short. I am middle-aged now. Who knows how long I have to live? What matters is how I love God and those he puts in my path (and how I respond to those he brings before me who are far away).
I was also wondering how Jesus might have felt, how Jesus might’ve been tempted to fill in the blank during his time on earth. Would Jesus say, I matter if and only if:
- everyone accepts my message
- the religious leaders accept me
- I have hundreds of thousands of followers
- I am Caesar
- I’m rich
- everyone accepts that I am the wisest person alive
- everyone accepts that I am God
I don’t know exactly how Jesus would’ve responded. But, I do know that he had to fight the temptation to measure himself by the world’s standards and continually turn his face toward the Father. Jesus had to fight the temptation to measure himself by the ways of the world and instead measure himself by the truth, by what his and our Father says is true.
We all, everyone of us, need to tell ourselves the truth that God tells us. We are his beloved children. He delights in us. His love is deep and wide and more expansive than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:14-21). And everyday, and also in the end, what matters is how we love.
* I must add this caveat: we all matter because we are God’s children. Some may be severely disabled, but they are God’s children. He loves them deeply and so should we. We all are to love each other and receive each other as gifts.