Know your worth.
To be honest with you, I need to know my own worth, too.
It’s a work in progress.
Often I struggle to know my value as a writer.
When I first started to write, I measured my qualities in terms of acquiring a book contract. “If I were to get a book published, I would be a successful writer and a real author,” I thought.
I’ve moved on from there.
However, recently I learned another valuable lesson about how I see myself.
This past weekend, I attended the New England Christian Writers Retreat.
Liz Curtis Higgs led a workshop on Honoring God with your words in fiction and non-fiction.
She stood at the front of the classroom with her arms stretched out. One hand pointed high in the air while the other hand aimed towards the floor.
“Where do you see yourself as a writer on this sloping line?” She challenged us.
I knew the answer. “Somewhere near the bottom,” I thought, “but not totally at the bottom.”
Then Liz adjusted her hands so her arms were horizontal.
I got it.
It’s not about seeing ourselves as better or worse than others – it’s about being on an equal footing.
The problem with placing ourselves on a gradient is we attach our standing—our worth—to where we are on the line, and with this approach comes a whole host of negative attitudes.
“I’m not as good as her,” I dwell on jealously. “But, then I’m not as bad as her,” I consider proudly.
You don’t need to be a writer to view the world in this way.
Perhaps it’s in your role as a mother. You see a kid acting out, and you think, “I would never let my child do that.” Immediately you’ve placed yourself higher up the slope than the other mother. I know. I’ve done that.
Perhaps it’s at work, in your family, or even at church.
The problem is, if we perceive we have a mountain to conquer, then we are focused on climbing higher or falling back. We stare at those ahead of us, and we glance down on those who are behind us.
Mountains are hard work.
My attitude changed as I looked at Liz holding her arms out straight.
On level ground, the tension disappears. I don’t have to struggle to get ahead. Instead, I can look out and enjoy the view.
We walk together and work together.
We all have something of value to add to the world.
The arms of Jesus, held out horizontal for each of us, teach us we all have worth. We all have purpose.
How do you view your worth? Can you place yourself on the horizontal line instead of the slippery slope?