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March 20

Monday, March 20th, 2023

Counselor and teacher, the late David Powlison, wrote about what he called “ladders to nowhere.” It goes something like this: if you’re on the sixth rung and I’m on the fourth, you’re better than me. But if I’m on the sixth and you’re on the fourth, I’m better than you.

It’s sad that we see life through those eyes. While he would call it “ladders to nowhere” (and I have no quarrel with that), I would call it “the comparison game.” We find our lack of self-worth or our height of self-worth in how we measure up to another. I read years ago where someone said, “Comparisons are odious.”

We all do it. “I make so-and-so.” Our importance is wrapped up in how much we make. “I do this-and-this in my company.” Our importance is wrapped up in a title or a job description. I know for a fact pastors do it. Get a group of them in a room on a Monday morning and their demeanor will often depend on how Sunday went. Ask them how their church is doing and you will hear the latest stats-giving, attendance, converts, and visitors. Sad. Then ask them how they are doing and one will often hear that they are doing in direct proportion to how their church is doing. Even sadder. Men who should be finding their worth in their relationship with Jesus are no different than their secular counterparts.

My worth, your worth, is not found in having a letter or letters after our name. An “R” or “D” or “I” or “L” should not be our identity. A title of “Pastor” or “Dr.” or “PH.D” or something of that nature should not define our worth. Nor should our worth be tied up in our job, how much we make, how much territory we cover, our title, our family name, or any other temporary means. To quote Powlison: “Before the living God, however, all of us are poor. We are all strangers, not insiders. We are all weak. We are all disabled. We are all dying. We’re all slaves. We’re all children. We need a deliverer.” *

That deliverer is Jesus. He is the One who sets us free from the endless pursuit of nothingness. He is the One who sets us free from worth determined by trivial pursuit.

*Powlison quote from Take Heart-Daily Devotions to Deepen Your Faith– (March 19-p.79)