Sometimes, people and circumstances can make you feel rotten, but you must take the time to understand the value of your life. When God created you as an individual, your birth itself was instant value. When God changed your life to walk with Him, that is, again, instant value. Your spiritual life is God giving you a chance for a special, dynamic experience which the bible describes in terms of building materials. You need to believe in your worth in order to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. I Corinthians 3: 11-13
The scripture lists gold and silver first in the above building materials. These are items that if introduced to fire will only become purer and more refined. Gemstones, on the other hand, or “costly stones” are iffy. When a fire is introduced, some stones will survive as beautiful as ever, while will not. Certain stones will suffer damage if they are touched by fire. As for the other materials, we all know wood, hay and straw are flammable and will break down in heat. What does all this symbolize?
Our character, if built on obedience to the words of Christ, will become stronger under fire.
There are parts of our spiritual experience that are easy to obtain, but other parts will cost us. To gain a closer spiritual walk:
You should know and understand your value to God and to others.
Learn who you are as a person and value your life. God does. I am just coming into a personal belief in my own value. Over the years I have allowed other people to make me feel less than valuable. It took me so long because I put too much value in other people’s opinions of me (long psychological childhood reasons for that one)–a weakness and a flaw, but I’ve learned better.
Think about this.
Your character is strengthened, during long-standing, seemingly never-ending afflictions or circumstances (the fire). When someone saw all the trouble I was having as a female minister, they handed me a book: Leading Women Who Wound (https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Women-Who-Wound-Strategies/dp/0802481531). It talked about the ways women wound one another in leadership and ministry. Their gesture helped me to understand that I was not alone in my struggles. I’ve worked with some wonderful female leaders but I’ve also experienced, in-fighting, jealousy and just downright “mean girl” behavior. Of course, we’ve all found ourselves in situations we would rather escape, especially when it comes to dealing with people. We pray that God will help the other person to see what we see and that God will open their eyes. But nothing changes. They still see us in the same light no matter how we improve or what we do (and it hurts, no one wants to be misunderstood or devalued). However, at some point, we have to say enough is enough. We have to say to ourselves ” Hey, I’m letting people’s opinion of me cloud the reality of my true value to God. If I am living in obedience to God, I am gold and silver in the refiner’s fire. People can misunderstand me, develop opinions of me and make me feel awful, but none of this changes my true value.”
Here’s a tip.
Don’t base your entire life on the ignorance of others.
I’m just saying. Don’t put so much value in other people’s opinions of you. Put a value in your own life. Do you realize how many people refuse to listen to God’s voice when he speaks? Do you realize that God may have already talked to people who seem to be tormenting your life, and they are hard of hearing?
God sends people the UP elevator all the time, but it’s up to them to take the ride to the top. When they don’t, and they are still standing there pushing the buttons, it often translates into a problem for you. I’ve found that God is faithful to instruct and give understanding on issues, but it is people who are dull of hearing. In the mean time, you are wasting valuable time begging for them to approve of your actions or even like you.
Since you don’t know the secret conversations God has had with other people, and you don’t know why they don’t see what they should. Move forward in faith.
Believe God for yourself and your own plans. Know that your gifts are valuable.