What makes me important? Why do I matter? How do I find significance? These are questions for the ages. Beyond our basic needs of food, shelter and safety this need that we all have, perhaps drives people more than any other. The need to feel good about myself. The need to have self-worth.
Robert Magee in his excellent book The Search for Significance details how we are deceived by Satan in to looking for significance in all the wrong places. We become approval addicts who live and die by the approval of others. An approval addict so desperately needs the approval of those important to him that he will go to great lengths to get it. Driving himself physically, taking huge risks, changing her appearance doing whatever it takes to get that nod of approval.
Or we jump onto the performance treadmill, getting our self-worth from performing well. The problem here is that the high of feeling good about yourself because you did well at something is fleeting. So we have to set another goal to reach so we can do well again to get the feeling back. This leads performance addicts to sometimes run over others to reach their goals, get angry at others when they get in the way of the goal and to push themselves to the extreme as well. The performance is everything, without it I feel worthless.
So many lives have been crushed by these lies. So many wounds inflicted on others because people have been deceived into believing their self-worth comes from their performance of the approval of others. The answers lie in the truth of God’s word. Pascal said there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every human that only God can fill. Magee points out that true self-worth and significance come from being loved and accepted by God. This is self-worth that is lasting and significance that frees one up to focus on others.
It is based in the gospel itself. God’s love for us is unconditional and is not based on our performance for Him or our attempts to gain His approval. Christ has already done everything to gain God’s love and approval for us. God’s love for us is a gift that Christ earned because we couldn’t earn it ourselves. One of the most significant statements in Magee’s book is that “there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than He already does and there is nothing we can do to make God loves us any less”. This is unconditional love.
If God is the most important person that there is and He loves us just like we are then there is the source of significance. That is why I am important. That is why I matter. Because God says so. There is nothing that can take that away. I don’t have to go searching for it. I already have it. These simple truths are the answer to so many problems that people have. The need for significance is very powerful in a person’s life. They can spend a life time looking for it in all the wrong places leading to all kinds of hurt and pain. But if you find it in God, you have it. You will be standing on a rock that will carry you through anything.