What gives something significance?
When I was seven, I was obsessed with ants. I thought they were the most incredible, majestic, coordinated creatures that God ever made. In science class, I heard that they could lift up to 100 times their weight, and I watched them join together to lift huge pieces of food back to their colony. I wanted an ant farm, but my insect-shy mother vetoed that idea. So naturally, I went out and caught them, giving them incredibly original names such as “Anty” and “Red Anty.” I put them in jars, fed them candy, and observed their behavior closely. When I was seven, ants were the center of my world.
Looking back, it’s funny to think about how something so small dominated my imagination and energy. I could easily write it off as childhood whimsy. Honestly, though, we all still find ourselves captivated by seemingly ordinary things and ideas. It all comes down to what we’re looking at. Our focus determines what is huge in our eyes, even when it’s seemingly tiny to others. This is both a blessing and a curse.
Oftentimes, I find the focus of my world to be my own doubts. They take up so much of my attention, whispering to me day after day, that I put them under a magnifying glass just like my ants. I research them, obsess over them, and place them in jars in my heart to study. The more of my attention and focus they consume, the more significance I give them in my life. Soon, the lists of excuses and reasons why I don’t measure up become the loudest voices in my life. I’m sure you have a few lists too.
What we give significance, we give power. So on we go, letting ourselves listen to soundtracks that say we are small, we are unqualified, we are too dirtied by our past, or too boring. These whispers are perhaps the most effective weapons in the world at shutting down lives that are full of potential and meaning and stories. And we gave them the power to take us out. We gave them the platform to take our microphone away.
Here’s the thing about significance in the Kingdom of God: it doesn’t come from us, and it doesn’t come from our past or our future. It comes from the one who calls us. God, the most significant figure in eternity, places significance upon us. We are out of line to say that we don’t measure up, that our excuses are valid, or that our flaws disqualify us. When we let these ideas consume us, we are essentially saying that we determine our own value. This is a lie, and one that will cripple us. We are valuable, called, and important because He says that we are. No excuse, no failure, no pain, and no doubt will change that. We can do it because He knew we could before the very foundation of the earth.
Today, friend, don’t sell your significance for the price of your mistakes and excuses. It was bought at a much higher price. Remind your doubts, your focus, your attention, and your imagination that your significance was determined before this world started turning. Let yourself believe it’s bigger than you. Because it was, it is, and it will always be. Stir up your faith to believe that your significance has already been given to you, and put your focus in line with the truth. Study it, name your purpose, and put God’s promises on display to study. Let his gift to you, life abundantly, be the center of your world.