Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Your value is indestructible

I am not sure I understand this. The opening line is terrific.  Then I am not so sure....

The teaching begins with a lesson on forbidding bread to be on the table. It expands to encourage us to avoid (or 'keep off the table') things that are not of value. I can get on board with that. I have been inspired by the minimalist/simplify movements that advocate a 'museum' mindset to life over a 'warehouse' mentality. Quality over quantity, discernment, best over good....  I am with it. 

But then the teaching says what makes one valuable is what one responsibly deposits on the inside.  Wait... What??  So, *I* make me valuable or not valuable depending on how much I pray, who I call friend, what I eat and how long I spend on the treadmill?

Next we are lead to pray that we not harm our worth and after that we have to write five things that destroy our worth. Destroy our worth! Ouch!!  

I do not know about this. I am pretty sure that if even a bit of my value depends on me, then all hope is lost. I'm shot. Reading the teaching as a whole, it seems to imply that being fat destroys your worth. Oh, my!

Paul tells us in Romans that all fall short of the glory. We cannot make our worth, no matter how well we choose. When women struggle so much with feelings of worthlessness, poor body images, guilt and keeping up with the ever increasing demands of life, this teaching clothed in biblical wording seems harmful to me. What am I missing?
Day one from Proverbial Girl: Wisdom, Values and Being Fabulous

What you’re actually worth is more valuable than anything on the earth, and that’s priceless. 

BREAKDOWN: My kids love bread, and although I hate bread, I love it, too. I especially hate bread when they place it on the table at restaurants. I usually give the waiter or waitress the evil eye as I say to myself, “Now you know you’re wrong for putting that delicious, buttery, hot bread on my table”. As tempting and delicious as that bread is, it has absolutely no nutritional value. So, I stopped allowing the servers to put it on the table altogether. “For her worth is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). 

How is this possible, and what makes this Proverbial Girl so valuable? What makes her valuable is not what’s on the outside, but everything she responsibly deposits on the inside, like personal quiet time with the Father, healthy friendships, good mentors and even healthy diets and exercise. 

A Proverbial Girl must be willing to stop allowing things of no value to be placed on her table of life and be willing to invest quality “ingredients” on the inside. A Proverbial Girl also takes proper care of herself because she knows that her body, soul and mind are the temple of God. 

QUALITY INGREDIENTS + PROPER CARE= GREAT WORTH AND VALUE. Are you investing quality ingredients and taking proper care in your life? All of these things play a role in producing an excellent and valuable you. 

Thank you for being my example of greatness. All that you are is excellent. Show me ho w to be a person of excellence and great value. Thank you f or t he strength t o deposit good things in my life, and even greater strength to walk away from things t hat harm my worth. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

LIVE IT OUT: Take a moment to write down 5 things that make you valuable and 5 things that can destroy your worth. Make a conscience effort to be more involved in the things that make you valuable and begin to pull away from the things that can destroy your value.

I have showered and have more to say!  Lol

First, I think many of the elements in this teaching are spot on. Prayer and Bible time are valuable and whatever you may need to sacrifice to get that into your daily life is probably worth it.  Healthy friends who encourage you into the arms and truth of Christ are more precious than rubies. Get 'em and keep 'em.  Eating well and exercise are very good manifestations of the truth that you are valuable and the shell that houses you on earth is worth the upkeep.  I am not pooh-poohing these practices. Jesus said to seek His Kingdom first and all these other things will be added to us. So do go after the best without distraction!

I also agree that avoiding excess and harmful influences is wise and worth it. The Bible tells us to flee from temptation. Drugs, toxic relationships, idols of any kind that bind you to this world should be vigorously avoided. Jesus says whatever good things we may give up to follow Him will be regained. (We can assume bad things we abandon for Him will remain rubbish.)

So, while I agree with much of the suggested practices championed, I protest the motivations this teaching emphasizes. It is fear-based and perfect love (from God) casts out all fear.  The author says things destroy your worth. I could not disagree more!  I think our worth is more like a diamond than crystal. And I have a good reason. 

Our value is indestructible because its *source* is indestructible. In fact, the Source of our worth has no beginning as well as no end. If our worth came from our friends and our diets, we would all be trash, eternal enemies to the Holy One.  That is pretty much the crux of the Gospel foundation in the Old Testament, which makes this teaching as close to heretical as I can imagine. 

Please do not let anyone lead you to believe that you can do anything to diminish your own value. You are worth the lifeblood of the beloved and only begotten Son of the King. What is worth more?  Our weak eyes may see value smudged or disguised. Our value may be hidden. But praise be to God, His eyes never fail. Jesus is the Light, sitting at the right hand of our God, interceding for us, shining on us and revealing the glory He gave us through His completed work. It is done.