Brené Brown says that scarcity is the issue of the day that leads us to absolute conviction that we are not worthy. “Never enough, sentenced to be ‘less than.’ Never smart enough, never thin enough, never enough money, never…enough. Therefore not worthy to be blessed or included or happy or—you fill in your word. (Daring Greatly, Copyright 2012 Portfolio-Penguin)
“Worthiness” is not like an opinion or substance. It is not something you can describe like my friends who are St. Louis Cardinal fans. “Hey Dude, what do you think about the Cardinals?” Worthy or unworthy is like the air that you walk around in or it is like living your whole life in a lake and being unworthy is the water. Our feeling of worth or unworthiness colors everything. It is not a box in your head—a compartment just down the hall from self-esteem. Experiencing worth changes everything. It puts us into a different atmosphere. Wait! I found the words: Kingdom life.
“The surest thing I took away from my BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. in social work is this: Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives us purpose and meaning in our lives, and without it there is suffering.” (Brown page 8)
Given that, non-connection is the worst thing. Isolation or hiding out was the first thing Adam and Eve did after the Fruit Tree episode. The person who feels unworthy disconnects and absolutely does not try to connect with others. Life in the lake is one of isolation, avoidance, hiding to protect oneself from being rejected.
When Jesus was teaching that worry was counter productive and a waste of energy, He based it on one fact—”You are of more value to the Father than….” And! Jesus says, have you noticed how precious those things are to Him? YOU have more worth to Him, therefore! I appreciate the teaching on worry, but I am most amazed at the core of the lesson—You are of more value to the Father…” (Matthew 6:26). The lynchpin question is, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” It is a rhetorical question that Jesus assumes the answer and builds His teaching on “therefore….”
Birds of the field don’t sow or reap, but humans can and must. If you have pet birds, you know they get more food on the floor than they eat. They are “repopulating the forest.” They are sowing. When we get a heart-realization that we are worthy of “reaping” we will figure out what we are supposed to be sowing so we will have something we want to reap.
This is my favorite song to sing in concert. One particular line—”a vessel of honor, I am today.” Because God counts us worthy, we are! Because through Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension, we are a vessel of honor. Therefore, all behaviors and decisions are based on what would a vessel of honor do or how would it respond?
I asked a question the other day—given the images we’ve seen this week and words we’ve heard, what do you need to hear, say or sing on the Lord’s Day. I thought I had an answer. I heard different words than I expected:
Copyright 2015 D. Dean Benton http://www. bentonministries.com/
Writer, Wonderer, Clay.