As many of you know, I recently relocated from Rochester, NY to serve as Youth Pastor in Columbia, MD. Thankfully my moving process has been seamless, but during my apartment search, I noticed a recurring experience. Leasing agents would show me impressive amenities that were upgraded with modern architecture and technology to spark my interest, then in many cases, once we got around to seeing the apartment units, I was underwhelmed because they paled in comparison to the dynamic shared public spaces.

After having several of these experiences, I began to request that we skip the amenities showcase because it was clear to me that there was a culture of over-communicating nonessentials in an effort to validate their worth. They showed me flat screens, pool tables, bbq grills, community gyms and spa spaces, and much more, but I was apartment hunting for a personal living space, not those things. I quickly noticed that, in many places, while the nonessentials where upgraded, the essentials were antiquated and less attended to.

My apartment hunting experience caused me to search my soul. Consider this: Am I enhancing the non-essentials in my life in an effort to make myself appear more valuable?

Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 6:25, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes”? He was encouraging them to give attention to what really matters in life, and I encourage you to do the same. Jesus went on to tell them to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness...”, and just like the disciples, we have to keep the main the the main thing. God first, of course, then our own wellness and wholeness because I’m no good to others when I’m not good to myself.

Here’s what I’m trying to say:

The value that you possess is not in what you have, or in what you do, but your value is in who you are! I encourage you to seek to BE, and not to GET. Be whole. Be well. Be kind. Be authentic. Be sane. Be intelligent. Be Spirit-filled.

When you choose to BE, you will naturally GET. Education doesn't make you. More money won’t make you. More friends won’t make you. More likes, shares, and follows won’t make you.

Life can be much less stressful when you take your confidence out of what you possess, and put your confidence in God. Allow God to develop the essentials of your life so that you won’t feel the need to use nonessentials to make yourself appear to be valuable.

You have value, and it’s within! It’s God given.

While popular culture may temp us to value what’s on us as indicators of our worth, I invite you to give attention to what’s within you, which for believers is what Paul calls in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “treasure”, which is the power of God. We have this treasure! Let’s act like it!


P.S. Today is the 1 Year Anniversary of Junior’s Journal Blog. Thanks for reading!

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