Recently, I had the opportunity to counsel a lady who had been laid off from her job. The layoff happened a couple of years ago, but she was still reeling from the shock. What made the feelings worse was that her employer had kept a younger, attractive employee with less seniority, less experience, and fewer skills. The reason was obvious. They wanted the lady most men would find more attractive. However, the older lady, in the past, had always been considered very pretty. For most of her life, she had garnered lots of attention for her beauty. Now, she felt like her whole world, her identity, was gone. And the feeling persisted for years.
Seeing your personal worth on the basis of temporary things naturally leads to this kind of identity crisis. “For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word which was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:24–25). Physical beauty, strength, money, notoriety, and pleasure all last only a short period of time. If something like this is the source of meaning in your life, the thing that makes you important, then your meaning is in jeopardy.
Instead, our meaning should come from our relationship to God and his word. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). A person chosen by God, now that is importance that lasts forever. Where does your importance come from?