Daily Devotions

Stop Chasing Your Worth!

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Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When we recognize our worth as a child of God, we can stop chasing after…whatever we think makes us feel fulfilled. I know Kirstie Taylor, in her article, “5 Things You Stop Chasing Once You Realize Your Worth,” doesn’t use faith in God as a means of realizing your worth, but that doesn’t mean we cannot use her interesting thoughts and redirect them.

Taylor affirms that when you realize your worth you will stop obsessing on “Proving people wrong.” The focus is no longer on changing others, but on appreciating what God is doing in our own lives. Otherwise, we spend the rest of our lives “miserable” and “crafting a life that’s not even something [we] enjoy.” Taylor also affirms that happiness shouldn’t be our focus either. “That’s because happiness isn’t something you have to earn.” Taylor continues, “Happiness is a choice, one you’ve always been deserving of.”

This understanding helps transform our future. Taylor laments, “Everyone’s chasing this dream life: a big house, a fancy car, highly-respected job, and a hot spouse. You know the deal.” Anything less than this dream fulfilled, will only leave us wanting. As people of faith, we believe it will leave us wanting even if we get all we are chasing. Taylor affirms, “What I care about is what’s happening in my present.” I would rather say, God is already at work in this world and the present is where we focus because that is where God remains available to us.

Finally, Taylor asserts, that we can stop “The Hustle” because we no longer need to focus on “People who don’t love [us].” The only one we need to focus on is God and the people God calls us to love and care for in the present. All the other things we hustle to do are a distraction. What we are left to hustle for is our relationship with God. Pray today, for God to help you stop chasing your worth, and accept that you are already acceptable to God. Then, you will be more fully open to the present with our Triune God.

The Difference Between Pain & Suffering

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And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

There is a difference between pain and suffering. I love the quote by Haruki Murakami, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” If we live for any length of time, we will experience pain. The minute we enter this world from the womb, the doctor slaps us on the butt and we scream. Suffering is the decision of how we will respond to that pain. Will we suffer by blaming the doctor? Will we keep from bonding with Mom because it is her fault; she forced us from her comfortable womb?

Kristyna Zapletal, in her article, “Diaries of Broken Souls: What Makes a Person Give In,” encourages us to consider two options, “Use the pain to become strong and wise. Let the pain leave us weak and broken.” Pain appears to leave us with a choice: accept and work through it, or give in to suffering. Pain hurts, but suffering occurs when we give in to despair and blame. Zapletal continues, “Pain can help you grow. Suffering merely consumes your life energy.” She states, “A broken person has survived but doesn’t live.”

As people of faith, we are called to live, and live with abundance. I have known people who have every blessing, but still just seem to exist, without exuding much hope. Then there are other people who have been left in a horrific situation, and they choose to move forward. Perhaps the difference between pain and suffering is a choice. As people of faith, who have the example of Jesus, and the ongoing support of the Holy Spirit, we can address the pain without wallowing in suffering.

Today, reflect on the painful moments in your life. Did you overcome or succumb to suffering? In the moments where you did not let the pain move to suffering, what did you do that helped you overcome? Did you invite God into your pain, to provide assistance, so you didn’t have to endure alone? If you are presently in pain, ask God to guide you through without giving in to suffering. If you are blessed to be pain free, ask God to use this time to nurture your faith, so when the pain comes, you will be ready to overcome. Then, you will not give suffering the upper hand!

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