In Part 1 we learned "Everyone anchors their value to something." I often anchor my value to performance. It's not enough to do good or even meet expectations. I want to exceed expectations. I don't want to just exceed others expectations, but I want to exceed my expectations. When I exceed my expectations I feel amazing. I feel like all is well with the world. When I don't exceed my expectations then I feel pretty worthless. I know it's stupid, but lets be honest you do it too.
Maybe it's performance like me. Maybe it's something else like
- Being in a relationship
- Getting on a team
- Getting a job or promotion
- Your image or reputation
- The clothes you wear or what you drive
- How others feel about you
- How others treat you
We all anchor our value to something. Most things we anchor to cause our value to rise and fall like a nausea inducing roller coaster.
I caught myself judging someone the other day. They were doing a devotional and using some object lesson and it was just bad. It was one of those presentations that make people hate public speaking. The poor persons nerves were shot. I could tell he was not enjoying his talk and neither were we. In that moment I realized I was judging his self worth based on how he was performing. Lets be honest. This guy was older than me, and chances are good he has more experience in his left pinky than I do in 17 years of doing ministry. He's seen more life. He's probably a better administrator, better counselor, better lots of stuff. But all I measured was his performance at this one talk.
We get others value from what we worship.
Not only do we get our own value from what we worship, or anchor our self-worth to. We get OTHERS value from what we anchor OUR value to! This whole system is seriously messed up!
I remember when I was canvasing a neighborhood with some students inviting people to come to a community event. I was driving a midnight blue Ford Focus back then. It was the first new car I bought. It didn't have A/C but it was mine and it was reliable. I was parked on the side of the road and a lady came buy in a giant Cadillac Escalade. She rolled down her window and screamed at me to "Get my piece of expletive car out of the road." She glared at me like I was the lowest scum of the earth. I was thinking "Do you know who I am?" I'm with students doing this community a service and you're treating me like this? She was measuring my value through what she worshiped, and it hurt.
God knows how deeply we wound each other because of the things we choose to worship.
This is why God makes a big deal Exodus 20 about only worshiping Him.
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me."
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments."
God is not jealous of you. God is jealous for you. This is why Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount equates Anger, contempt, and insults with murder. We wreck ourselves and others when we anchor our value to anything but God. This is deeply offensive to the God who created all of us.
Imagine you can go back in time 1628-29. And you get to go to a gallery viewing of young artists. You walk in and see this hanging on the wall.
As you are viewing this a young man walks up and introduces himself as Rembrandt. You barely acknowledge his presence. He asks how you like the painting. Your eyes never leave the painting as you reply with a snicker. "This? This is not a painting! My 3 year old could do better blindfolded. I wouldn't give $2 for this piece of crap!" You then turn to look at the artist and as the blood drains from your face you realize his face is the same as the one in the painting. . .
We are all created in God's image.
When we devalue others based on our own idols we worship. We are devaluing the artist who created the person in front of us. We are insulting God when we devalue others. It's offensive. It has to stop.