Another blogger posted a comment on an old blog post, and is comment popped up in my alerts this morning. Is this a blogger I know? Not really. We talked a few times on social media, and more recently I’ve seen a few of his blog posts. But then after I got his comment, I clicked on his link again. And the question was right there, staring at me…
Do I really matter?
Am I worthy?
The blog post went through a maze of realizations, self analysis, and recognition of current events, all gathered up into one tight little package of value. The value came from the analysis… And there, in the middle of that package, I found a tiny jewel of information that can make all the difference.
All the difference in the world.
As I occasionally struggle with my own value, and how much I have attempted to accomplish, I realize once again that the real difference isn’t so much what you can see… but rather what you can’t.
My grandmother was a praying woman.
She spent hours on her knees. When we removed the carpet from her living room after she passed away, I realized there was a hole in front of her chair, where her knees had spent time on the floor. The linoleum in front of her bed had worn away, and she covered it with a small rug. This woman spent hours on her knees praying for her children. Before she passed away, I remember her admonishing her oldest daughter, “You weren’t raised like that.”
The tender words she spoke to her children reminded me that she had once prayed over them, as I’d heard her pray for me.
Skip Ross once said that all people should have a primary goal that probably won’t be achieved until after their own death.
Think about that for a moment.
If all your goals are accomplished, what’s left?
For years, I battled those around me, attempting to pursue my own goals while being a part of the circle of people who surround me. I pushed forward, even when it felt like I was achieving nothing, because my ultimate goal really mattered to me. It still does. My life mission is on going, and will continue long after I’m dead and gone. There will continue to be a mission, and for all the trouble and struggle it’s been, there are many who will continue to pursue that mission – whether they realize it or not.
Why will my mission, my goal, continue? Because it wasn’t ever about me. My ultimate goal has never been about me. And it still isn’t. It’s about the future. About helping others. It’s about making a difference, and helping others to live better. It’s about giving yourself and teaching others.
My mission will continue.
How does this happen?
How do you create a primary – ultimate – goal that people continue to pursue after you’re dead and gone?
Does it really matter?
This is the biggest question… Does your ultimate goal really matter, to anyone?
Zig Ziglar said that if you help enough others to achieve their goals you will achieve your own goals too.
The Bible offers many verses telling us to help others, to love others, to lift others up. Biblical admonishments to encourage those around you and communicate your love and appreciation show up frequently. And yes, what the Bible says really matters. These words and verses really matter.
Hebrews recommends we Do Good, a message communicated frequently by Joel Comm, another favorite blogger whose message is reverberated by the masses. People everywhere wear his shirts and spew his words as they exit the room, as they leave a conversation, or as they walk away. “Do Good!” has become a signature message for Joel Comm, and many in his tribe.
Hebrews 13:16 – But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Selfish people look to their own needs only.
A huge key to spreading your own message is to not be selfish. Look to the needs of others, as is recommended in Philippians. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Help others. Reach out to those in need and help them. Be helpful and give others hope. Encourage those who need encouragement and love those who need love. Because they really matter.
When you’re struggling, look outside yourself and see others. They’re struggling more. When you take your eyes off yourself, and look to others… You’ll know what does really matter.
Philippians 2:4 – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
You really cannot out give God. Whatever you give, he will give back to you. He will lift you up higher. He will give you more than you could ever give away. What you give does really matter.
We often speak of the widow in the Bible who gave everything, her last mite, to the Lord. She gave it all. And she was blessed for giving. She was blessed many times over, for giving the last that she had.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Does it really matter what you give?
What you give does make a difference. It makes a real difference, and you will recognize the value of what a difference you make as you give. Those who need water, are not benefiting if you give them something that isn’t water. If they’re on fire and your pour on gasoline, you have given them nothing of value, and you’ve added harm to their way. Does it really matter?
What you give matters.
1 John 3:17 – But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
I really struggle with this one, because I have a friend whom I encouraged. He took the encouragement and ran with it… Probably keeping him alive, and yet… The end result has been a struggle to in any way find benefit from. His writing has become a burden, a struggle for me, and I truly believe now, that encouraging him to do something may have been the wrong gift from me… Perhaps, walking away much earlier might have been a bigger blessing to us both.
Friends… Are not necessarily friends for a lifetime.
As sad as that may sound, it’s a reality. And the biggest reality is that when you let go of what isn’t working for you, you get more of what works. Sometimes we have to let go of friendships, and send those friends on their way with our blessings… Because they’re better off without us, and we’re better off without them. If this makes you cry a little, I’m sorry, but this is the truth.
Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
It isn’t about works…
It’s about giving. Faith matters. If your faith isn’t strong enough to give something of value to others, and trust that God will provide for you… Your faith isn’t very strong.
James 2:14-17 – What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Galatians 6:2 – Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
When Grandma lifted you up in prayer, you knew… Eventually, her prayers would be answered, in one way or another.
I remember a vacation and she wanted to leave two days after we were scheduled to leave. She prayed for a delay in our trip.
She prayed for a delay in leaving, because she had something she wanted to happen before we left on our trip.
The morning we were scheduled to leave, we woke up to Grandma with a swollen face. Evidently (according to the Doctor), a gnat had flown into her eye the night before and caused an irritation which made her face swell. Our trip was delayed until the swelling could come down, by about forty-eight hours. I remember her saying it didn’t hurt it was just uncomfortable… Then laughing that she needed to be more specific in what she prayed for!
We left two days later, after whatever it was she’d wanted us to wait for happened. Our trip was a bit more hurried than we might have liked, but we arrived in plenty of time for our vacation.
Bear each other’s burdens, in prayer.
John 15:12 – This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
There’s an old adage, very much a reality, that you can’t pray for someone and hate them. Or even be angry at them. Prayer changes YOU. When you pray for others, the prayers you offer up, change you.
When you find yourself struggling with a broken heart, and wishing it was your arm, or something else that would heal… Lift it up to God. Lift up those who have broken your heart and pray for them. Not because it will change them. God may or may not be able to change them. They may be unwilling to allow him to change them… God will, however, answer your prayer and change you – because you are willing to be changed.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Proverbs 19:17 – He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
I’m a huge fan of Aspen trees. I love the color, the form, and the closeness of Aspen groves, as they follow their passage to the skies. When you realize the grove is filled up with pines growing in the same space and the pines take up a lot more room near the ground, there’s a concept that they must share the soil.
The Aspen trees that move over, allow room, and give space to pine trees are blessed with an abundance of color and depth near which to show off their brilliant displays of autumn color. Those pines really matter.
People are a lot like groves of aspen trees and pine trees. Some require more room than others, and those who give more, get more. I find the likeness to be beneficial in a concept sort of way.
When you’re grateful for what you have…
Do you ever notice how a person who is just so grateful for everything they have, seems to have way more than they ever want or need? The first time this concept struck me I was struggling to live within the confines of a small town, where poverty seemed to suck the life out of everyone I knew. We weren’t poor by any stretch, and since my parents worked in industry areas where their income moved to match their effort, we were never lacking in funds to do whatever we chose to do… We just always had plenty, or the work ethic to earn what we needed. There was always more than enough.
I went to work young. Not because I had any specific needs, but rather because there was work to be done. Everyone worked. And we were blessed. We did really matter.
A friend referred once to herself as poor, and I went home to ask mom… Are we poor? She said, “Where did you hear that word?”
I had to ask her what it meant, because I really didn’t know. She explained that some people don’t have enough to eat, or money to pay the rent and because of that they might FEEL poor. But in reality, nobody in our neighborhood was truly poor.
I learned later, that a lack of gratitude can make you feel poor.
That feeling never took root in me. I somehow always felt God’s abundance was mine too, and poor wasn’t in my vocabulary, even though most of my life I’ve lived below what some might call the “poverty line.”
Gratitude costs nothing, and the rewards are great.
Proverbs 22:9 – He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
When you believe you have the abundance of God’s thousand hillsides at your disposal, you’re never afraid to give to others. Or to give to the poor. And out of your abundant spirit, you give to fill the needs of others.
Matthew 5:42 – Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Driving through Starbucks on my way to work one morning, I got a phone call and had to pull out of line to take care of some business. While I sat there talking to the client, I realized the line was getting longer and longer. I had been late, when I pulled in, but I wanted coffee.
Frustration quickly set in, and as I finished the call, I started trying to get back in line. I couldn’t turn around, so I had to either slip in line or back out of the parking lot. Neither one seemed like a good idea, and the first several cars looked at me like I’d grown horns… Did it really matter?
I probably had grown horns.
The lady who motioned me to enter the line had a car full of children and looked more harried and hurried than I felt. There was nothing behind her, yet still… She let me in. I could have waited, but I took advantage of being able to get out of my “corner” of the parking lot and pulled into the line up. Before she passed my space, three more cars pulled up behind her. I would have been stuck again.
As I pulled through, I heard her order coffee, three hot chocolates, three breakfast bagels, and an egg sandwich. I pulled up to the window and told the clerk to pay for her order too. He looked at me a bit odd, and I said, “She looks like she could use a break today, and she just gave me one.”
Paying it forward…
He smiled and nodded. I paid for her coffee selections, the whole order. Not because I’m wealthy, or because I didn’t need the money, but rather because she deserved a gift of encouragement.
I’ve been the mom in the car that someone picked up the tab for… It’s an amazing feeling to know someone gave me such a blessing – and they didn’t have to. I felt like I really matter to that person.
Romans 15:1 – We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Whenever we have an opportunity to give to others. We should. We benefit greatly from giving to others and being the blessing, so why would we not? The biggest question of our time, is “Why not?”
So many are stuck asking WHY… And they should be asking “Why not?”
Proverbs 3:27 – Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do [it].
And there it is again… The reason why I really matter.
Making this a personal statement.
I really matter. You really matter. The concept of who matters, comes back to your personal message. Have you created a message? Have you set into effect a message, or a goal that can’t be completed while you are living? Are you setting out to achieve a level of greatness that goes beyond simple existence?
One of my favorite songs…
I am a promise.
I am a possibility…
O, I am a Promise, with a capital P.
I am a great big bundle of
Trust me… There are those who will read this and say “You aren’t all that!” And I will shrug at them and say, “Says you!” Because I know that I’m a child of the most high, created in HIS image, and HE has a purpose for me. He has a plan. And more than that, he created me with the potential to fulfill his plan and his purpose for me.
I have the power to be anything God wants me to be.
I matter. The consensus here is that I really matter, be God created me with a purpose in mind. And a big huge part of my purpose is to do his will, to listen and fulfill the jobs he gives me.
I believe that as a child of the most high, I must pay it forward. I believe I really matter, because I give out of the abundance God has given to me. The secret is to be grateful for what God gives me and appreciate the gifts of amazing love that he has placed in me, so that I can offer up more to others.
In case you’re wondering… All those people my grandmother prayed about all those years ago? I’ve watched them, one by one, come to Christ. Those prayers are being answered every single day.
I sometimes pray, “God, remember Grandma’s prayers…” Because I know they matter to Him.
Acts 20:35 – I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,