September 8, 2020
How is 2020 affecting your sense of value and significance? Results are not going like we planned. Personally, I have had to shrink office space, shrink team, shrink events... I hate this! I can't go outside because of the wildfire smoke and I can't hangout with friends because of COVID and vulnerable family members...
The external results and affirmation that I didn't know I relied on to feel good about myself... are absent.
(Thanks to my wife for helping me work that one out!).
I'm peeling back another laying of identity that is determined by my performance - results. When results don't go like I plan I start to feel unsettled... then anxious... then angry... then depressed... (You fill in the blanks).
The truth is my identity and value is an INSIDE job. My significance was established before I was born. I belong to God and He occupies me! God is with me, period.
So what will I do with 2020?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a phenomenal German theologian AND part of the assassination attempt on Hitler late in World War II. His faith had serious action!
I was wondering whether Bonhoeffer would have been wiser... more productive... more effective... to have sat out the end of the war in England or USA and then been a foundational voice and father to rebuild Germany after the war.
The assassination attempt failed and Bonhoeffer was hung just days before his prison camp was liberated by the allies. Was that a wasted life? Was that failure?
From an earthly perspective, yes.
But we are not being measured from an earthly perspective. As a follower of Christ your success is not dependent on your earthly results. Otherwise every martyr was a failure.
Our success is measured by obedience and faithfulness.
Bonhoeffer followed his conviction. He knew he had to be WITH his people and he paid the ultimate price for that.
What about you? What do the results (or absence of them) reveal about where you obtain your value? Is 2020 a waste of a year or is there something deeper and beautiful going on that is calling you to a greater security and significance in who you really are? What will you do about that?
Here's what Bonhoeffer wrote one day after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler:
"How should one become arrogant over successes or shaken by ones failures when one shares in God's suffering in the life of this world?
I am grateful that I have been allowed this insight, and I know that it is only on the path that I have finally taken that I was able to learn this. So I am thinking gratefully and with peace of mind about past as well as present things...
May God lead us kindly through these times, but above all, may God lead us to Himself."
Christine Caine writes:
Sometimes the biggest sign that you are doing exactly what you should be doing, is no one but you and Jesus know you are doing it.
So, who are you really living for?
What is the invitation and opportunity of 2020 revealing to you?