Validation versus Valuation

I saw her on social media.  She was beautiful.  Young, fresh faced, and glowing.  She had a cowgirl hat on and a cute plaid shirt but was pulling her shirt open to one side to expose a lacy, blue bra.  A blatant tease for any male that happened upon it.  A begging for attention albeit only the sexual kind.  She was very validated by men and women alike with comments and “likes”, but all I could see was the longing for someone to value her for what lies beneath the beauty.

It looks  different for us older women, but I fear it is much the same.  Our audience changes and most probably our activities, but the desire for validation remains.

Any of us who spend any time on social media or television see it all the time.  We read it all the time.  As a woman and mother to daughters and granddaughters, I have this urge to scream at the screen…..”you’ve got it all wrong!  We’ve got it all wrong!”
I could expound on the evils of social media, television, advertising, the movie industry, objectification of women, the music industry, the porn industry, etc. all of which feed female insecurity about our bodies, our choices, our style, our individuality, our interests, but I won’t.   That’s all been hashed out hundreds of times.   I don’t want to distract you from the issue at hand:

Validation is not the same as Valuation.

We are allowing Satan, the Father of Lies to confuse us.  He wants you to search for validation from the world, from people.  He wants you to believe your worth is tied to being validated in the here and now by those around you.   He wants to make you forget your true valuation is found in Christ alone.  You can be validated by words of affirmation or the click of a “like” on your Facebook page but you will never be valued by other humans like Abba values you.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Having others find your words and actions valid is not what your soul desires.  Validation from others will never quench that thirst.  Your soul cries for the deep, undefinable value that comes as a grace gift from God.  Can you accept it?

We live in this global world where lives are on display more than ever before.

The average Josie can plaster herself all over the world-wide web with a quick selfie and a click of the post button.  She begs for valuation but only gets validation that yes, she is beautiful with all kinds of emojis to go along.  God does not value outward beauty.  He values your eternal,  inside self.   The part of you he wants in eternity with Him.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Proverbs 31:30

The average Josie can blog…average self included.  Why all the bloggers out there?  Why thousands of opinions on how to stop a 2-year-old temper tantrum or successfully raise a teenager….Well, we are quite possibly looking for validation from the masses that we do, indeed, have great wisdom and skill.  It is possible God does not value our faulty wisdom, especially that which he has not imparted.  He values our minds and desires that we seek to find Him in every portion of our day, Him!!

The average Josie can share her successes, and those of her kids with all her devoted friends who will in turn be awed and amazed at the stealthy way she navigates the challenges of daily life while they salivate over the delicious meals she serves her family (insert Instagram) while their family eats yet another cardboard pizza.  She is validated by the likes and comments.  God does not value your meatloaf and get this….probably not even your child’s math grade.  He values you!  He values your heart!  He values your child’s heart!  How sadly we unknowingly teach our children to seek validation for works and effort instead of teaching them how very precious they are to Abba both in failure and success.  Visit Mary and Martha in Luke 10.

C’mon ladies.  Be honest.  It feels good to have validation.  I’m guilty as charged!

I’m not saying you need to dump social media, and I am not saying you dump personal responsibility because God values you in any state.   I’m saying you need to know what matters.  I’m saying you need to know WHO matters.  The lover of your soul, that’s who.

Let’s break it down.

Validation is to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of *you*.  Merriam Webster until the *you*.

Validation is something we seek to obtain from other human beings.  It is self serving.  It feeds our hunger to succeed. It is usually self contained and doesn’t place God in his rightful position.  The need for validation increases as we lose sight of our valuation.

Valuation, on the other hand, is how much something is worth, and the estimator who holds the precious object in His hands determines that worth.  You are so highly valued by God that he paid for you with the life and blood of his only son, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world (You) that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16.

  We freely speak it, but do we believe it?

When we let God’s valuation of us start to sink into the cracks of our public facade, it is God honoring.  It is at that moment when His radiance shines through us and our actions. More of Him and oh, so much less of us.  It is at that moment when our value in Christ Jesus is apparent for our families, our friends, and the world to see.  What great hope for all the wounded and empty women in our upside down world.

Take a moment to ask yourself where you are looking for validation.   Are you chasing it down as some kind of idol?  Now, consider who you are as a daughter of the King who formed every cell in your body by divine design.   Is there anyone you can imagine valuing so much that you would hand your child over for sacrifice to save that person?  No, but you are!  God values you that much.  If we were to start living out this knowledge, what would our homes, families, marriages, churches, jobs, etc. look like?

FOR THE MARRIED ONES:  A reminder…

Far too often, I look to my husband to be the one to value me the way only a Holy and Perfect Abba can.  Women, we need to take that pressure off our men.  They are but mere humans just like us.  We set them up for failure and set ourselves up for a stream of resentment when we look for them to fill the role of God.  I look at my own marriage and must ask myself, “what emotional energy do I require my husband to expend trying to prove I am valuable as Jesus holds his hands out to me with my pricetag still showing on his flesh”?

Advertisements

Facebook, Faith and Friends; Weaving a scarlet cord.

I hate social media.  I love social media.  I am repulsed by it.  I am addicted to it.  Today, however, I write about the profit to the Kingdom of God and each other.

Facebook, one of many social media outlets, has become the public arena where the tongue, a world of evil among the parts of the body”, is unleashed through texting thumbs.  There is very little filter, if any.  It is a breeding ground for cowardly bullies who would never have the courage to speak to a face what they type with their fingers.

James 3

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Ouch!  Are you uncomfortable?  I am.

Now that I’ve started with the negative, I have been compelled to share the beauty of the blab when it is Christ-centered and not driven by human nature.  Since being “compelled” to do something  means being forced to do it, it is my prayer that I will be obedient to the Holy Spirit with each and every word.  Sidebar:  If you can’t sleep due to a relentless burden or thought, that might just be the Holy Spirit compelling you.

For months now, I’ve been in cyber contact with a precious woman who has become a valued friend.   After being made privy to the details of her trials, I enlisted a few other women who could come alongside her as well. We, our little group, ONLY share through private messaging,  do not enjoy geographic proximity and as a matter of fact, we represent a few states.   We do share similarities in our past and present circumstances, but what is profitable in this social media circumstance……hear this…….  is a thick cord that binds us, running through the tapestry of our collectiveness.  It’s the scarlet cord.  You can feel the silk and the strength of the scarlet cord in our conversations.  It’s just we few women, our Heavenly Father and our Christ Jesus.  He is the scarlet cord, woven into this raggedy little clump of “us”,  which produces  a work of art that only the Master can truly see the value of.  Without our scarlet cord, we women could not possibly benefit from the relationship that God has gifted us with.  It transcends our technology. It transcends space and time.  It defies our understanding.

Colossians 1:15

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Shhhhh, soak it in.  Our scarlet cord.  Isn’t He all that is good and lovely?

If you were to read what we share without any identifying markers, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate one of us from the other.   We redeemed ones are all white cords.  What stands out from the ordinary mesh of white threads, are the bold accents of the scarlet.  Its deep scarlet.  It’s the deep scarlet hue of your own deoxygenated blood.  The blood that courses through your veins, full of waste products and lacking in the oxygen that keeps you alive, desperate to return to the lungs and heart for resuscitation.  Christ died with your toxic, worn out, near-death, dark red blood pouring over his head as he suffocated on your behalf.  Scarlet, my friends…..beautiful scarlet.  I pray we continue to let HIM be the only color we see in our ongoing sisterhood.

That brings me to yesterday.  We were sharing raw feelings of loss, isolation, layers of grief that get fossilized by time, and I suggested we throw scriptures at our topic.  One of my sisters started posting beautiful scriptures that addressed the wound so appropriately, but something happened!  God was so in the technology that he kept pushing the post button!  Yup, that’s right!  Believe it or not, He is able!  I want to share was God was driving home through our screens yesterday.

 

1 John 5:14

1I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him

Do you approach God first, before you hit the text pad?  Do you invest in other women’s lives to the extent that they can have confidence in approaching you to join them in prayer?

 

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew Henry, in his Concise Commentary, says our Lord Jesus’ yoke is “lined with love”.  I would venture to say, the lining is scarlet.  I would venture to say if you choose to be yoked to a sister in Christ, you don’t have to share the love, it multiplies.

Be the white to your friend’s tapestry.  Know that Jesus died for you to be white so he can show his intricate love through the scarlet.   Learn to love scarlet.  Look for it in every conversation, be it typed, texted, posted, tweeted, whatever.  Weave the scarlet into EVERY conversation no matter the engine you speak  through.  Cling to the cord that binds you to your sisters for this life is not a journey we are meant to travel alone.