Another wondrous Easter and Passover celebration has come and gone. Christians around the world reflected on the values given to us through God’s word.
It was a time of reverence and a celebration of the risen Savior’s power. Many of us used the time to think about our futures, friends, families, the times we live in and how we can rededicate our lives to the values God taught us while honoring His sacrifice.
But what have we truly learned?
To many, Holy Week and Easter offer a fresh new perspective and the chance to learn about and grow faith values. To others, this season is a once-a-year occurrence and, come Monday morning, they find themselves back in a lifestyle devoted to their own personal value systems and a “business as usual” approach. Has the joy and celebration of the single most important event in the history of mankind eluded us? If you are a non-believer, are you more lost than ever before?
Jesus wants His followers to evaluate tough times of change, not just from the perspective of history, but even more from the perspective of His kingdom. As believers, we are citizens of eternity. Therefore, our confidence needs to be rooted in something far more important than our own values, lifestyles, positions and achievements. It’s not that “here and now” isn’t important, but as we live our lives, God really wants us to be loyal workers for His kingdom, truly serving the people He sends our way.
Is your significance tied too closely to achievements? Is building something, reaching higher personal or business goals, acquiring material possessions or ladder-climbing your major focus? If you lost all these things, would your confidence completely crumble? If your sense of worth is self-dependent on all of the above, what happens when you reach the top of the ladder and find you are leaning on the wrong wall?
The problem is that our world seems to have a system of values that contradicts the way God determines value. Our system lacks what the Scripture calls “vocational calling.” Our current culture and self-driven habits encourage us to climb a work and identity ladder that is self-serving and, often, self-destructive.
Climbing this ladder can be very misleading. The higher we climb, the more our identity and security depend on them. But what happens if we lose our values, positions, titles, accomplishments and compensation?
Maybe these non-faith-guided value collapses explain why there are so many people suffering from emotional problems. Maybe that’s why they resort to crutches such as alcohol, spousal abuse, child neglect, divorce, severe depression and more. If our significance relies only on manmade things, then it dies when they do.
God calls us to a far more stable basis for significance. He wants us to establish our identities in the fact that we are His. We were created by Him to carry out good works in His kingdom. That is our calling and vocation.
According to Scripture, our calling is irrevocable. It’s a function of His design in us, an assurance that He will give us everything we need to serve Him, including strength to remain faithful, our true identity, our deliverance through times of suffering and a life rooted in peace of mind and focused on achievements for His kingdom.
Above all else, we are called to focus on character development, service to others and loyalty to God. This can be accomplished wherever we live and work. If we pursue these things in God’s way, we can always enjoy great satisfaction and significance in serving the kingdom.
If you are struggling with your perspective or significance, a Stephen Minister can make a difference in your life, whether or not you are a believer. If you are struggling with the aftermath of breakdowns, a Stephen Minister will meet with you and walk with you through your areas of difficulty, for as long as it takes.
Stephen Ministers are faith-based, compassionate men and women who, in total confidentiality, can listen, understand and help you.
If needed, they are able to refer many individuals to other trained professionals and agencies in our community.
Call 320-7840 for a free, gender-sensitive, one-on-one appointment. The Stephen Ministry team here in our community is a part of the globally recognized Stephen Ministry Program.
Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.