It’s been a crazy couple of weeks over here; and I’m not entirely blaming the corona virus. I am in the process writing and publishing my first book and since joining a mentoring programme in November, it has been one steep learning curve. One that hasn’t lost momentum, even in face of this pandemic.
Last week we started the Marketing module and it has has rocked my boat a little bit. Coming to terms with the amount of work that goes into writing, publishing and marketing a book has been sobering to say the least. I thought I would just type out my story, stick it in a cover and let amazon worry about the rest. But I am discovering that there is so much more to it.
One of the exercises we were given to do, was to consider our unique value proposition. Almost like writing a menu of what we are bringing to the table. I printed my worksheet for this exercise and set it next to my laptop as I continued working on my e-book today. Not particularly feeling enthusiastic about jumping into an exercise that would require me to dig deep into past and present states, but knowing that it is an important exercise to do in order to connect with the right audience.
Then, something happened as I wrote a devotional piece in my e-book today. The words “unique value” were highlighted to me as the Holy Spirit reminded me of an incident that happened when I was in my teens, during a missions trip.
One of the older boys walked up to me and asked if he could have a word with me in private. He said that he wanted to apologise to me. He said that I was so shy and quiet, He didn’t know how God could possibly use someone like me.
I was so well versed in the language of the Liar, that I didn’t receive the part where he explained that God corrected him. I didn’t hear his apology or that God told him that my quiet spirit is beautiful and useful to Him. Before I knew it, I started to believe that I had nothing to offer. That I wasn’t useful or valuable in God’s Kingdom.
One of the destructive forces that drove me into desperate situations, was my need to be useful. My heart longed to know that it added value to someone’s life and because of that need, I ended up in rather compromising situations. Think: being chased by drug dealers, whilst driving the opposite way down a one-way street in the city centre of Johannesburg; risking my life for a friend who was struggling with a drug addiction. Yes, folks, the pastor’s daughter. Ha!
I know this may be a bit of a dramatic example and I don’t want to miss the subtle ways that this lie can play out, because it isn’t always as dramatic as that. It could be saying yes to good requests for help, when you know you already have too much on your plate. It could mean turning down God’s call, because you’re so busy doing things for others in order to feed your heart’s craving for purpose and meaning.
The last few years have challenged me beyond my boundaries of comfort and human understanding. I have had to let go of a well established, growing ministry position in a church I loved. I have had to step back from another opportunity to serve in a new church and risk being misunderstood. Behind these challenges, I was dealing with a heart wanting to cling to the things that gave it meaning, purpose and value: good works.
In the process of letting go of the good works, I learned a very valuable lesson. One that I have to revise every so often and it it this: my unique value is not based on what I bring to the table, but Who I am seated next to. My unique value does not come from what I do, or even from the message I carry. It comes from who the Father says I am.
Dear friend, do you know that your unique value is not based on what you do but who you are? Do you know just how valuable you are to your Father, simply because you exist?
Why don’t you ask Him to show you your unique value?
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that we are a new creation. Do you know what that word “new” implies? The Strong-Lite concordance (G2537) ascribes two different meanings to that little word: firstly, it implies something that is fresh, unused or unworn and secondly, it is something that is unheard of, uncommon, unprecedented. Something that has never been seen before!
My friend, you truly are unique and special. You are one of a kind. There is no one like you in this entire universe! Your unique value is not found in the works you do, but in who the Father says you are.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Today, I hear the Father say: “Faithful Child. Do you know how much I value you? I delight in you simply because you are mine!Every step you take in obedience, bring me great joy and delight. As you exchange your plans for mine, I will open the doors of your destiny. There are great wonders waiting for you. Trust me, and see my plans for you unfold. Plans to prosper you. To give you a beautiful future. An unshakeable hope.” ❤