JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF YOUR WORTH
Take A Dive
June 9, 2002
You know God wants all of us to go to the ultimate destination. He wants us to take a journey to the center of our worth. I have been in a series on self-esteem. We have been traveling to different locations and talking about this ultimate destination. Well, today we are going to discover how to build an incredible self-esteem into the lives of others. Come on, because we are going to travel to sunny, south Florida as we talk about self image.
Welcome to sunny southwest Florida. Right now you are probably laughing because you are making fun of my hair. A friend of mine, Matt Tully, who goes to Fellowship Church has a salon called Fusion Salon down in Deep Ellum. Matt thought that I needed new look so here is the new look. My wife, Lisa, calls this the skunk look, but I think that she is kind of being cruel. Anyway, I have a new look. A lot of you are maybe looking at me now and saying to yourself, “I need a new look as well.” Not necessary a different hair style, but I am talking about a real new look, an inward new look. Today I am going to talk to you about how to have a new you. About how to have a significant and super self esteem. Here is what the Bible says about a new look. In Hebrews 2:7
“God has crowned us with glory and honor.”
I love that word crowned because every time I think about the word crowned and see it in the book of Hebrews I think about my childhood. Because as a kid, like most children, I used to love to go to Burger King. My mom would take all of us to Burger King and we used really dig that place because it was the home of the Whopper. They would give you these cool Burger King crowns. They were these flimsy paper-made crowns and after a few minutes they would break and tear because I have a big ‘ol bucket head. My brothers and I would even fight over the crown.
Most of us are in a search for significance and a lot of us have never found it. The reason is that we are searching for significance through flimsy paper like crowns. We are trying to put the crown of appearance on our heads. If I look this way or have this physique or wear these clothes then that will give me meaning. Maybe we put the crown of achievement on our head. That is a flimsy crown. Maybe if I can achieve this or if I can get to that level or if I can make this amount of money. Sometimes acquisition is another flimsy crown that we use. If I can buy this or own this or live at this address or drive this. That will surely give it to me. Yet a lot of us spend most of our lives, we burn up years and years of our lives, putting on paper crowns. If we could see ourselves the way that God sees us we would see paper crowns littered all around us. God wants us to exchange these paper crowns for the ultimate crown. He has the crown of value, the crown of significance, because we are royalty and he wants us to live like royalty. He wants us to wear His crown. The word is that we can wear His crown.
Now I am going to talk to you about how we can wear His crown. It is a three-step process. I have to warn you. This three-step process is not something that is instantaneous. It is not simplistic. It is going to take a lot of work and effort, however, the spirit of God will give us the ability to find it, to wear it, to advertise it, and live like royalty. Let’s look at the first step.
I am sitting on the roots of one of the most unusual and beautiful trees I have ever seen. This is called a banyan tree. These roots are so stout that they support the tree and the tree grows over the street and penetrates the soil on the other side. As I look to these trees, I thought about this whole self esteem scene because when we discover God’s crown we live like royalty. We will have roots that go and grow deep. I am sure with the root system of these trees over hundreds of years they have weathered a lot of different storms and they have seen all sorts of things from diseases, bugs, and things of that nature. Yet these banyan trees have remained strong. Once we find that crown, once we live like royalty, once we see ourselves as God sees us we can have roots like this. That’s why the Book of Psalms 1 says that we can be, if we follow the Lord, like trees firmly planted beside streams of living water. That is what God wants for you.
During the summer a lot of people take trips. They take vacations with their family and friends. While people are on these vacations they purchase a lot of reading material. A lot of people like to read fiction. Of course, kids like to read fairy tales. Sadly, large blocks of us are reading fictitious fairy tales in regard to our self esteem. We are believing what the magazines say about us. We are reading all of this junk and it is really just a sad search for that paper-like crown. I think that it is time that we close the book of the fairy tale fictious stuff and open up to the reality of God’s word because only this book shows us who we are. It is authentic – it is the real deal. It shows us that we are royalty. It communicates to us that we have a crown that Christ can give us that is tailor-made for us. It gives us real value and meaning and significance. As you open up to God’s word you will see that it says many different times and many different ways that we matter to God and how significant we really are. Jesus talks about this in Luke 15. He talks about three things that were lost: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. He talks about people going on an all-out search for these items that were lost and then he says that when these items were found a celebration took place. He nutshells it in Luke 15:10, he says,
“I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
So scores of us are just one repentant prayer away from discovering our crown. From discovering who we really are and that celebration is waiting to take place. So I pray that you pray that prayer and discover who you are in Christ because it only comes when you open up to the reality of God’s word. That is the first step in finding a super self esteem.
After we open up to the reality of who we are in God’s word we need to do something else. This is the second step which is we need to look over our relational world. We need to look over the horizon of our relationships. I have in my hands a super-sized Banana Boat Ultra Sun Block SPF 30. Now here in sunny southwest Florida you have to put on sun block and when you put it on, it protects your skin. It protects it from all of the harmful rays and in a real way when we think about our relationships we should think about ultra sun block. A good many of us need to limit our exposure to those ultraviolet people that cause those relational melanomas to spring up all over our skin. People, the wrong people, can really damage and hurt our self esteem. The can rip us apart. They can tear us down with words and attitudes and looks and things like that. So, to really have that crown that we have been talking about, to really live like royalty, we have to do a serious inventory in our relational world.
I Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.”
Bad company will mess up good character. God wants us, not only to open up to the reality of who we are in God’s word, but he wants us to look over our relationships ruthlessly. What does that mean? What does that look like? Does that mean that I might have to change jobs? Yeah. If people that you work with are constantly blowing holes in your self esteem. If they are continuously dinging your crown and knocking it off. Yeah you might need to change jobs. Does that mean that I need to visit certain family members less? Yeah. If it is a self esteem thing, I am talking about being ruthless. I am talking about being healthy because God wants us to be healthy. Not for selfish reason, not for selfish purposes. He wants us to do it for worship purposes. He wants us to be the best vessels, the best people possible to point others to Him and that can only take place when we have a proper view of ourselves, when we can wear that crown of royalty.
Bad company does corrupt good character. It is easier for people to bring you down than to bring you up. That is why we have to be intentional about finding people who will bring us up and that is where the church comes in. The church is called the body of Christ. It is the place where we meet people. Where we meet little bands, little platoons of brothers and sisters and that is why we have our HomeTeam ministry and small group ministry. We have different little groups that meet in neighborhoods all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If you are not in a small group I encourage you to, not only for spiritual accountability, but just for your self esteem. It is time to look over the horizon of our relationships and make those choices. Always remember to use your sun block.
We also need to do something else. We need to look over our behavior, our life-style. The Bible says that once I become a Christian I become a child of God. If I am a child of God, if I truly know Him then I am going to take on the characteristics of my heavenly parent. I am going to walk like Him. I am going to talk like Him. I am going to act like Him. Often times when people see my son they say, “Ed, man, he looks exactly like you. He talks like you. He walks like you. He has the same expressions that you do.” Well, he should because he is my child. He is part of me.
A while back, I was a part of this Olympic-type event where I did all of this athletic activity. One of the things that I did was I went through this obstacle course. I had never really been through an obstacle course before. It was pretty challenging. The first section of it after I sprinted about 40 yards, I crawled under these ropes and I emerged through the ropes and then I went through these tires and then I jumped through hurdles and then I had to go through water. I remember after every gate, after every part of the obstacle course I would say to myself, “Yeah, I got that one down.” Finally I got to the end. Living a Christ-like life is the same way. Every time I am faced with a choice, either to cheat or be a truth-teller, to lie or to exaggerate, I can go God’s way. It is like going through a gate in the obstacle course, I build endurance. I build confidence. Every time I go through a test like whether to tithe, give generously to the church, or to skimp and be selfish. That is a test. That is when I go God’s way and build endurance and strength and my crown becomes brighter and brighter. Every time I have a chance to take an impure thought and make it pure, to go God’s way, my crown is more beautiful, more awesome. My life is a better reflector of the life of Jesus Christ. That is what it is about. We have to constantly look at our behavior.
“We should present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God.” “It is our act of worship.”
When I am doing this, when I am living this life, I am living a life of worship. I am expressing my love to God with my behavior and actions. So that is the second step in reclaiming who we are. That is the second step in discovering a super self esteem.
Today we have been talking about a new look. I have one, but most of us need a new look in a different way. We need a new look in our self esteem. God wants you to have a beautiful crown. He wants you to live like royalty and you can if you will simply open up, look over, and dive in.
When we realize that Jesus Christ has died on the cross for our sins and risen again then suddenly we know that we are somebody. When we know that we are somebody we act like somebody. That changes everything about our lives. When we know that we are somebody, when we know that we are royalty it changes the way that we work. No longer are we just punching a clock or picking up a check or just going through the drone of life. We are working ultimately for God himself. Because we are royalty we have a mission in life. If you are a teacher, you are not just teaching a class you are doing it for the glory of God. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that you put your best into it as you leave that campus. Maybe as a pastor, there is nothing like knowing that you put in the prayer, study time, and discipline as you deliver that message and as you drive away from the church you know that you gave it your best. There is nothing like being a repair person, knowing that you put your best with commitment and endurance as you fix things or install things. As you drive away from the work site, you know that you have done it for the glory of God. No matter what you do, if you are an athlete or a coach, or if you are in real estate, you must do it for the glory of God because you are royalty. That puts a whole new spin on everything that you do. You see some people work differently. Some people also understand that they have a specific plan from God, that God’s plan is not just putting more zeros behind the decimal point. God’s plan is not just stacking up more paper crowns. It is doing the real deal. The good thing that I try to think about regularly in my own life is to mentally try to put red tags on every material thing that I own or that I see and I say to myself on those tags it says “perishable.” Because the Bible says that one day everything will go up in smoke. The only thing that will not go up in smoke are people. People matter to God. The Bible says that we will live forever in one of two places so how do I invest my life in people? How do I invest my energy in souls? Well, I will tell you how. It is working for the glory of God and it is you realizing everything that you are and leveraging it for the local church. That is why we are building lives at Fellowship Church. That is why we are building buildings here. So if you are helping out with the preschool, if you are serving in a small group, if you are helping in the parking crew, or the ushers, or with lighting, or technology, any realm, you are doing something that will last forever. You are pursuing a plan on another zone, on another level. Dive in. Go ahead and dive in. The water is incredible. Because when you do it God’s way you will see yourself as He sees you, nothing more and nothing less and that is a great self esteem.
Every time you dive in a pool or a pond or an ocean this summer I want you to think of diving in to a super self esteem.