What Measures the Worth of a Life?

Have you ever prayed “God please use me ”? Do you ever feel less accomplished, gifted, or useful than those around you? Then you’re in good company because nearly everyone I spoke to before writing this admitted to feeling that way at times. Including myself. We tell ourselves “everyone else has so much more to ‘offer’ than I have.”

Why is it that we think the Christian life is all about usefulness? God doesn’t need me. I am not indispensable in the kingdom – none of us are, even the great podcaster on social media who has umpteen thousands of followers.

God Delights in YOU

God delights in you, not because of anything you can bring to him or do for him, but simply because you are his beloved child. Thinking of my relationship with own, now adult children often brings clarity to my heart when viewing my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I don’t look for ways in which my children can serve me, or be useful to me. I just love their company!

Three of my sons live abroad, and I look forward to phone calls, I love to hear their voices. God loves to hear your voice. He loves for you to speak to him. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, “pray without ceasing.” Prayer is talking with our Father. It is, simply put, including God in every single aspect of our lives, talking to him throughout the day.

Usefulness is not a measure of worth

When we let go of the striving – the ‘I must do’ and learn to just ‘be,’ we learn what Paul learned; that His grace is sufficient for us and his power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9, 10b).

When are at our weakest, we really are strong, but it is Christ’s strength, not our own.

And the overflow of resting on his strength is that oftentimes God often uses us in ways that we could never have imagined, without us even realising it.

(Mustard Seed Blog)

‘Parable’ of a Dandelion

Most people think of the dandelion that children like to blow the little parachute-like seeds from. We forget that the dandelion, at the height of its heyday, looks nothing like that.

Though it might not be as pretty as other flowers, the vivid yellow dandelion flower stands out bold and bright against the rich green Irish grass of the fields around where we live. From our house, looking out of the windows across the fields, I can see dandelion flowers from hundreds of yards away.

Sometimes, we feel we are most useful to God when we are bright, resilient, strong, SEEN.

(Mustard Seed Blog)

At the turn of the season however, when all the other meadow flowers are at their most glorious, the dandelion begins to die, everything outwardly is stripped away, and no bright golden colour remains, so that the little dandelion is virtually INVISIBLE among all the brightly beautiful flowers of the fields. But, this is the time the dandelion sows its seeds.

So, with this in mind, when would you say was the most important time in the life of the dandelion? When it is bright and golden, standing out from everything else in the fields? Or when it is dying, surrendering itself to sowing seeds of new life; seeds that will be caught on the wind and carried to places the small yellow flower could never have gone itself?

This reminds me a little of the analogy Jesus used, about wheat:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

(John 12:24 ESV)

Dying – To Live!

Now, if we’re honest, no one truly relishes the thought of dying to self, do we? We don’t want to let go of those things that we cling to because they make us feel better about ourselves.

Remember the rich young man in Matthew’s Gospel? (Matthew 19:16-22) He believed he had ‘followed all the rules’, having scrupulously lived by the law. He was, in his own eyes, a very good man. Sadly, when Jesus told him to give away all he had to the poor and follow him, the man simply couldn’t do it. He could not, would not, make that big a ‘sacrifice.’

The point Jesus was making wasn’t that every rich person must give it all away before they can follow him – a frequent misunderstanding of this scripture. There’s many wealthy Christian who does a lot of good in the world by continuing to make money and using their resources for the glory of God and the good of others.

But this particular man’s riches were an obstacle to him following Jesus. He had made a god of his wealth.

So, I ask myself; is anything hindering me today, from simply following Jesus?

When we die to self – to all our dreams and ambitions, our graven image of Self; our striving to ‘be useful;’ to succeed, to do more, something wonderful occurs …. God brings new life! And it’s all him, it’s not our our doing.

Jill 💜

6 thoughts on “What Measures the Worth of a Life?

  1. Thanks for the “dandelion thoughts”, especially about the most important time is when it begins to die, letting the wind carry its seeds to far places. That makes Jesus’ words about dying to self easier to swallow.

    I am so glad God still gives us “visual” lessons in nature. Thank you for sharing this particular one!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I particularly like the parable of the dandelion! As we say, That will preach! This whole blog is so enlightening! I love it! I was taught many years ago that you can’t do God a service! On the other hand, if you want to be great in God’s kingdom – learn to be a servant of all! Thanks for sharing such a timely post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. That’s a good point you make – “you can’t do God a service” – Somehow we so often get muddled over this, when the Lord has made it straightforward. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, love your neighbour as you love yourself.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s