…since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this unmerited favor and mercy in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God… we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
~Romans 5:1-2, 11
As a little girl, the youngest of four much older sisters, I longed for the day when I could use the iron, or help to wash the dishes, or wear high heeled shoes. The “you’re not big enough” reasons given me were proof-positive that someday I would have the credentials needed to do those things. In this case, that meant I had to be taller and older.
Credentials are a huge right-of-passage in most every sphere. I mean, who among us wants to visit a dentist whose only endorsement is their driver’s license. Most of us want much, much more before we’re willing to submit to the drill. Imagine if your flight instructor headed into the wild blue yonder with nothing more than their Library Card?
Let me be clear. It is not my intent to malign credentials. They’re a necessary ingredient when advancing from one sphere to another. Webster tells us they’re a quality, skill or experience that makes a person suited to do a job; a document endorsing qualifications for a particular job. We admire and applaud people for the stick-to-it-tive-ness it took to achieve their academic degree, sport’s letter, position in the world of work, or any number of other advanced undertakings. Yes, credentials matter. But it’s what they are not that drives my pen right now.
It took me a long, long time to connect that dot to reality. Ever striving to be a “good” person, a clever wife, a more patient mother, an influential business-woman, a noteworthy ministry leader, I was terribly disappointed to learn that those things never did, or ever could fill my Worth Reservoir. Oh, they may have represented a certain sense of accomplishment or failure in my life, that’s undeniable. But far too often I wrongly defined that as worth, or lack thereof.
It wasn’t until I understood in the deepest part of me that my value had nothing to do with who I was or wasn’t; what I did or didn’t do. No, the value assigned to me happened long before I was even born. It was a very personal assignation; and not just something impersonal or ethereal ~ as if by a star-concocted volley of good fortune I was allotted value with all other people of all time. Not so. The value assigned to you and me is beyond calculation, and it had absolutely nothing to do with your credentials or mine. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. ~ Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
For many, such an understanding comes late in life or not at all, especially if they’ve been wounded by a parent or other authority figure. It’s much worse for those of us who believe we have failed, mistakenly believing that makes us a failure.
But here’s the deal: You and I are vitally important. We are God’s best; the crowning glory of His creation; His Plan A to reach a lost world.
He has no Plan B.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through life! ~Romans 5:10 (NIV)
And there, my friends, is the one and only credential that assigns worth to you and me.
Kathleen Flanagan shares a wide array of transparent life experience with her pen. Faith and family are the bookends to her life as a wife, mother and grandmother. Until her recent retirement, Kathleen juggled a career in business management and church ministry. From the vantage point of her now-senior life, she shares the very personal aspects of her walk with Jesus ~ the good, the bad and the ugly. Her sassy perspectives will make you laugh, or cry, or think deeply about the trajectory of your life. She can be reached via her Blog at: http://sassygranny.blogspot.com/