Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Do you want to know your life is important? In part one of this four-part series, I recommended you choose how you want to feel. Do you want to view yourself as minimally significant, or would you prefer to feel that each day of your life counts?
Here is part two of your four choices that lead to a meaningful existence.
(2) Choose your measuring stick
In early America, measuring was arbitrary. A yard of fabric for instance, was measured from the elbow to the tips of one’s fingers. Fabric merchants would sometimes hire help with short arms to cut and sell the product.
The government’s Weights and Measures Department was founded about the same time as 36 inches was adopted as the official yard. Now we have yard sticks.
We all have measuring sticks by which we judge human behavior. A sense of personal value may raise or lower depending whether we meet our standards or not.
Phyllis used to work with young people. Her job was vital to an entire community. She deserves a relaxing retirement, yet she misses helping others. She enjoys being needed.
Then why does she waste time now? In part one I introduced you to her, a retiree who hides from public view as much as possible. Her measuring stick is the opinions of others. Supposedly, if her weight were under control she would find a means of interacting with the world.
Other popular yet temporary measuring sticks include money, fame, the approval of others, and achievement. Problem is, money goes away in an instant sometimes. Positive opinions of others fail to hold us up because opinions change, and so does how we react to them. Setting goals helps with motivation, yet they are subject to shifting perceptions and moods. A standard by which to build a more meaningful life depends on its permanence.
You, Phyllis, and I can choose to believe that unseen does not equal unimportant. Regret and failure are not the end of a story. Proof of this is in millions of people’s stories all over the world. Notice those. Take in that you have options.
Ultimately, I care about God’s out-of-the-box point of view.
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1: 26-29, italics mine).
By allowing God to define what is great, I have reassurance in my worst moments of discouragement.
Be assured, your life’s significance is not in question. Perhaps how you measure significance keeps you stuck.
Stay tuned for your next choice that leads to knowing you matter.
Today’s Helpful Word
Genesis 1: 27-31
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them… God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. “