I am only as valuable as what I do

She always excelled at everything she put her hand to, be it school, sports or work. Everything that she started, she wanted to complete with a high level of excellence. She had been praised and affirmed for her success in academics her entire life and had demonstrated that she had a very strong work ethic.

On the outside, everything looked great. But, deep down the enemy had been working in a very subtle, damaging lie that was trying to subvert everything good in her.

The lie that had infected her strong work ethic was that she is only as valuable as her contribution.

“I am only as valuable as what I do.”

As we brought this before her Heavenly Father, He revealed that this lie had been establish, in part by people very close to her who had a pattern of comparing her against others. Even though she almost always was on the “better” side of the comparison, she was being taught that these actions were what made her more valuable than others. She was standing taller than others on a platform of her own performance, but such a structure is unstable at best. With one failure to attain excellence, the platform could collapse, sending her down into the pits of worthlessness.

She lived her life in a constant state of vigilance, careful to maintain her value through what she did.

God’s rest is available for all who put their trust in Jesus, but this lie was not allowing her to enter into that rest. She had to get stuff done in order to be worthwhile.

All of us have a deep-seeded craving to feel worthwhile.

Hungry people will eat.

She didn’t feel valuable just because, so she tried to earn her value. She was feeding her need for value with a lie, but it always left her hungry for more.

She accused some people in her family, before God, of adding strength to this lie. She chose to forgive, asking her heavenly Father to do justice on her behalf.

She confessed her own sin. She confessed that she believed such a damaging, subverting lie and had lived her life as if it was true. She also confessed that she had judged others as less valuable if they were not capable of the same level of excellence. This was a very difficult confession, one that hit home as she realized how bad it was.

She asked God to forgive her. He did.

She rejected the lie, making it clear before God where she stood. She was able to recognize it as a destructive belief and did not want it in her life any more. Then she asked God to do His part. She asked Him to break the power that the lie had in her life. Then she asked her heavenly Father to replace the lie with a Truth.

She waited for God’s response. There was no tangible response, only sense of comfort, like she could keep listening and waiting on Him for a very long time… but nothing ever came. She was disappointed. She felt like she had done something wrong. Wasn’t she supposed to hear something from God?

We talked about what God could be trying to tell her through this “lack of response.” Suddenly, it became clear that she had accomplished “nothing” but she still had deep peace with God. She had neither heard nor seen the “right” thing. She had not “performed correctly.” She felt like she was supposed to get something from God, and she had not. And still, God’s peace was there.

Through our discussion, it became clear that God was indeed communicating something.

I am okay to just be me.

She was no longer dependent on doing something to earn her value. God had accepted her and confirmed her value before Him when she was accomplishing nothing.

Her value is now tied to her existence, not her performance.


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About Nathan Banker

Nathan, Michelle and their two sons are occupational ministers in the Twin Cities. They do spiritual mentoring, a form of prayer ministry call Prayer Resolution and help run a small church-like community called Immerse. They dream of changing the world, one person at a time.

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