Gifts, Money, & Self Worth – Where Do We Get Our Value From? – How Did We Get It All Wrong?
With Mother’s Day approaching, I think it is the perfect time to talk about something that has been on my heart lately. Ladies, do you have memories of being a child and giving someone you cared for a weed bouquet? Or maybe it was as an adult and receiving one? If you have not had this exact experience, I do hope that you’ve had something similar. Nothing at all compares to the feeling of knowing you are loved and thought of in these most basic and simplistic expressions. There is purity in the giving that is so evident it can be overwhelming.
It was just an ordinary day for me when a lady who worked at the wholesale store stopped me. She asked if she could take a look at the “gorgeous” wedding ring I had on. She admired it and said, “Wow, Your husband must really love you.” “Yes, he does”, I replied, “but let me let you in on a not so big secret. This ring is a CZ and was relatively inexpensive.” She didn’t believe it at first and then she didn’t understand why I would let anyone know it wasn’t “real”.
About a month earlier almost the same exact situation occurred and I was told, “Wow, Your husband must really love you.”, again.
Last week I was accidentally informed of a gift my husband was giving me by the company sending it out. One of the things the very sweet and embarrassed lady on the other end of the phone said to me was that my husband loves me very much because of what he bought me.
It isn’t just situations that involve me. I have overheard women say this to each other time and time again when it looks as if someone has spent a large amount of money on them.
To be honest, I really did like the feeling of another person acknowledging my husband’s love for me. But then Holy Spirit began poking at my heart. Since then, every time someone has equated love with a perceived expensive gift my heart would break. This is one way it starts ladies, this idea that our worth can be measured with money. I do realize that to some extent we do invest financially to what we value. However, we can not let ourselves believe that if we receive a less than expensive gift that we are somehow worth less. Nor should we define someone’s love based on such gifts. Look at Hollywood. Huge expensive gifts for the love of
their life the week. Money does not compensate for lack of character or integrity.
In the Bible there is a story of Jesus seeing wealthy people giving offerings at the temple and then a widow giving just 2 mites (Luke 21:1-4). Some may give all they have to give and yet to others it may appear worthless. They may be mocked and ridiculed because it doesn’t meet with someone’s expectations or demands. But our God sees the depth of the offering. One person spending 10 thousand out of their wealth is not the same as a person spending a dime out of their poverty. It is the heart behind it, not the amount.
Our God sees the depth of the offering.
When was the last time you or someone you know said “Wow, your husband obviously loves you very much.” when he took out the trash or just for going to work to bring home a paycheck? Is bringing home a loaf of bread so much less worthy of love than jewelry?
There are so many ways we can give generously that do not require money. We can give of time, skill, energy. We can send a note or a quick text message. We can remember someone’s favorite color or favorite song.
Many times I could only give in non financial ways. There have been those who not only appreciated it but treasured it and there have been those who have mocked it because they required something more or different. Often, it was something that I could not give.
I remember when I made a gift for a friend. I had worked for some time perfecting a technique. I made it well over a dozen times and when I finally felt I had it right I picked the best and most favored materials I had and made a gift I was proud of. It was the best I had ever made, even to this day. I remember being so excited to give the gift and when I handed it to her she barely looked at it and put it down on a table, never to bring it up again. Not a thank you, nothing. I was so hurt. I had every reason to pick up offense and run with it. Instead I laid down my pride, (ok, I petted my pride for a little first), and just realized there were deeper needs for the moment. This is not shared to shame anyone but to say I’ve tried to use that feeling I had as a reminder of what feeling devalued is like. I never want to cause someone to feel like that. And while I can’t control what others think, I can do my best to express to someone what their worth is.
Have we got it all wrong? Do we make our self worth dependent on the gifts given to us and money spend on us? Do you assume that Jane Doe’s husband loves her more because it looks like he spent more money on her than your husband spent on you? Or maybe you feel that someone doesn’t appreciate you and the gift you have given and therefore your self worth has dropped in your eyes?
Does a gift lose value because someone doesn’t see it’s true worth?
It is probably safe to say we have all missed the mark in this area at some point in time. How can we get our minds set right about giving? How can we stop seeing the worth of a person based on how we perceive they should be giving? How do we stop placing a value on ourselves based on what we are given? – Jesus. He is the absolute final authority of a person’s worth. He died for all so that those who would believe and place their trust in Him would be saved. Whether you know it or not, receive it or not, Jesus died for you. You are worth dying for. You are worth all the pain and suffering He endured to give you eternal life. You don’t have to believe His promise. You don’t have to receive the gift of salvation and eternal life He is offering you. But it is still true. And it is true of every person who ever was or will be.
Ladies, for Mother’s Day and every day to come, I’m going to ask you to take a challenge. Will you make an intentional effort to realize the everyday, basic, simple, overlooked things that show you just how much you are loved? Will you also make it a point to do these same type of things (without requiring acknowledgement) for others? I believe if you commit to do this, you will see so much more love than you thought was there.
Leave a comment and share one way you realized someone was showing you love that you hadn’t noticed before.