Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating
Caring
Communities
That
Transform
Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
 Subscribe in a reader

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 11:38:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

In preparing to speak to a Christian student group, I've been reflecting on the tendency in my life towards performance, as opposed to living from and resting in God's presence. To look back on my own life, I created a timeline of significant events from birth to the present day. From this exercise, I realized that that my life can be organized into five distinct stages of where I was looking to find my sense of worth, value, and significance.

From birth to age 19, I found significance in the approval of others. An insecure young man, I tried to find my worth in what others thought about me. It was an intensely lonely time, and I constantly felt like I never matched up to others. I even got married at age 19, partially motivated by my fear of being alone.

From 19 to 31, I found significance in achieving the world's standards. I pursued higher education with a passion, obtaining a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and then attending Stanford University for three graduate degrees. After this, I started a successful business with my father. During this time, however, my marriage fell apart and I was left alone to raise three young girls. These events brought me running back to God.

From age 31 to my early 50s, I found significance in my pursuit of God through knowledge and Biblical principles. With Him coming to the rescue, my relationships with God and people took on new importance, yet performance was still at the core. Pursuing God and working for Him was hard work: becoming a good husband and father, memorizing Scripture, leading Bible studies, being on various church boards and committees, building biblical principles into our business -- these were all great things, but they still fed my performance mentality.

From my mid-50s to mid-60s, I found significance in my pursuit of a deeper, more intimate, relationship with God. During this season of my life, I started connecting with God in more emotional ways than intellectual ones, and my relationship with Him gradually became more of a friendship.

From my mid-60s to the present, I have come to realize that my significance is found in God's pursuit of me. This has radically altered the way in which I see and approach my life, as my understanding has shifted from one of achieving my worth from my own performance to one of receiving my worth from God.

When I look back on my life, it's astounding to realize that God has been pursuing me from the very start. Unfortunately, it's taken me most of my life to realize this and even more of my life to learn to live from this place of truth. I'll be the first to say that living from His presence and who He says I am is a daily struggle. I'm still a charter member of "Performers Anonymous," frequently admitting, "Hi, my name is Doug, and I'm a recovering performer."

Where do you find your sense of worth and significance? By living each moment in His presence, or by striving to perform for others?

Comments
Great thoughts! When I live in His presence the day and my heart is at rest.
Keli Schoon @ 5:49:00 PM 3/8/2012
"as my understanding has shifted from one of achieving my worth from my own performance to one of receiving my worth from God." Thanks for this, Doug. I have always struggled with this for two reasons. I feel as if I have constantly failed to achieve what I should be achieving from the world's perspective, and constantly feel defeated. I also (like most of us poor souls) feel like a constant disappointment to God, never being able to fully trust Him or live the life that I feel He is calling me too. From either perspective, I see myself as a failure. But I am learning, finally, the truth of what you have shared here. My worth comes not from anything I can accomplish, but from my relationship with Him. Such a simple truth, yet so hard for someone with a proud heart to accept. You would think that we would jump at the chance to see ourselve thru His eyes as opposed to our distorted ones. I'm getting there :)
Mike Malcolm @ 5:41:00 PM 3/27/2012

Leave a Comment

Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code Load New Code