Title get your attention? Good…let me ask a few questions.
Why do we check out the People of Wal-Mart photos? (If you don’t know what I am talking about…don’t bother…I don’t want to be responsible for your corruption)
Why is Teen Mom, or frankly, any of our reality shows even popular?
Why do we watch Jerry Springer or wonder what Charlie Sheen has to say?
Why do we even care about Hollywood gossip….or gossip of any nature?
We may say its all just entertainment, but I believe it’s more than that. Something a little deeper maybe that reflects something about us. Let me try to explain.
Sometime, I scare myself at how often I compare myself to other people. I think about them and all the baggage they have…or the lifestyle they lead and I find myself thinking…”I’m glad I am not that way…I’m jacked up but at least I am not that bad!”
If you think about it, we constantly rank ourselves with the people around us. We feel like we have to mentally sort out where we are on the value scale. Why do we do that?
Maybe watching Springer in some small way makes me feel good about myself?
Maybe discussing Hollywood gossip makes me feel validated in the sense that I can put myself in the “normal” category?
Maybe watching all of those broken, jacked up people somehow feeds into the false image of myself that I have created? I know…kinda deep right?
What if it is an identity issue? Maybe I am on a search to find something outside of myself to tell me who I am and what I am worth?
On my search to find value and identity, it is very easy for me to use everyone around me as a standard for how I measure up.
It sounds like a logical thing to do, but it’s dangerous.
If I am always using other people as my measuring stick of how much I am worth, then odds are my feelings of value are going to fluctuate wildly.
Most of the time, I am going to tend to lean toward seeing others in an extremely negative light, being very critical and judgmental of them because it makes me feel good about myself.
Then other times, I will find myself depressed, discouraged and bitter because I have been around some “all-star” who seems to have it all together and I don’t!
We have probably all experienced these bi-polar, roller coaster-like tendencies in our spirituality. But what is the answer?
Ultimately, I think it is found in the Gospel.
You see I really was created to search for something outside of myself to give me a sense of value and identity. The problem is I am plugging all sorts of things into that role and none of them can ever truly fulfill what they promise.
Simply stated, I was created to find my value and identity in Christ. But my broken, sinful nature has led me on a proverbial wild goose chase. I have been deceived by myself.
In the Gospel, we find our true identity and worth.
Paul puts it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Galatians 2:20
You see it is Jesus who gives me my value. He loves me. He gave Himself for me. Like Paul, I have been “crucified” with Him in the sense that that broken, sinful version of me that seeks to make a God out of everyone and everything else is being put to death daily! And now, I am living a new way which Paul says is in faith!
I am putting my faith and trust in God and what He says about me, my value and my worth. I no longer have to believe the self-deception. I don’t have to constantly compare myself to others. I can live free of bitterness, discouragement and unsatisfaction because I am loved no matter what. My God is for me and He likes me. I think that is enough for me.