There are two types of security I’ve been struck with this week. Both are found in God alone. One relates to trust and contentment in a material sense. The other is about what it means to be a human being, finding our intrinsic worth in Christ – our identity as image bearers of the Divine.
Matthew 6:19-34 from our series in the first Gospel is the classic text on being liberated from the tyranny of anxiety and consumerism. “Consider the birds of the air…” [A sermon on this text is on the Christ Church website.]
A second resource is an excerpt from a paper written by one of my URI Biblical Thought students, Deanna Gee (used by her permission). Deanna wrote on the implications of being created Imago Dei – in God’s image. Her thoughts on finding her identity and security in how God sees her are very personal and powerful. We need to shout it from the rooftops! Here are her words:
I am one of many young adults who have struggled on the voyage of answering this seemingly impenetrable question: “Who am I and by what do I measure my worth?” Consequently, the media generates an ambush for this very inquiry. Flash. Thin. Flash. Money. Ipod. Glamorous. Right before the youthful eyes of our American teenagers, magazines, billboards, and commercials provide an artificial definition for how one should measure one’s worth. I feel the pull from this enticing mirage. But finally, my absorbing eyes and subconscious state of mind have been released from the constraining chains of the media. I have torn my thoughts away from focusing on conforming to the standards of this skin-deep society. No longer will I be content in measuring my worth through clothes, jewelry, or my social status. Instead I find my identity in the unfathomable beauty of Jesus Christ. The Lord, who has created the vast mountains, mystifying sky, and the sun, which sits on the horizon, amorously glistening on the ocean’s surface, has also created me. Consider the words of David: “ I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Holy Bible, Psalm 139: 14). With the knowledge that God, Himself, created my identity, I am undeniably stable in who I am. God fearfully and wonderfully creates each person. There are no needs for comments like “I wish I was as skinny as her!” or “My life would be so much better if I was as smart as him.” The hands of the Creator of the Universe molded my soul and body. How can one criticize such a creation? I don’t need to be labeled “Made in Paris” or “Made in New York” to gain self-worth. Instead, if you must brand me, label me “Made in Heaven”. For we find intrinsic value in ourselves when we find our identity in our Creator.
Once I had stopped measuring my self worth in appearances, money, or social status I was able to help others realize the intrinsic value they had in themselves, being made by God and in His image.
[Deanna went on to tell the story of how God beautifully used her in the life of a friend who had reached a place of hopelessness – but who found new life in receiving Jesus’ and being restored by his love.]