Is your best never good enough? Talk to a mentor.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
I imagine at some point in your life you have experienced validated parking. After parking your car, you take your ticket to the proper authority and get it stamped. That little imprint means free parking. As long as the ticket is validated, you don’t have to pay. I think many of us spend a major portion of our lives trying to “validate our parking tickets.”
We move from job to job or relationship to relationship looking for that elusive stamp of approval. Sometimes even within our own families we struggle to see where we fit. We search for something beyond ourselves to authenticate our right to be parked on the planet. Often past wounds fuel our quest for recognition. But no amount of success or wealth can compensate for the need to “prove we’re somebody” to those who have hurt us. Our longing for validation can lead us into an ongoing preoccupation with self.
It’s all backwards….
When Jesus told the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more” he was able to separate who she really was from her lifestyle. (John 8:11) He demonstrated that her identity was no longer bound to her failures. His affirmation satisfied her more than any man’s embrace ever could. The search for her niche was over. It was time to start living.
There’s no sin in needing affirmation. Yet our true identity lies in neither our failures nor our successes. No matter how many times we get our parking ticket validated by those around us, we will come up short. We must go to Jesus, the real source of validation. He is our Creator and Redeemer. He paid an incredible price to give us the authentication we crave. “[I]n him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) What more could we need?
Dear Jesus, I want to see myself the way that You see me. When I try to find my worth in work, or piety, in what I do and not who I am, gently remind me that my salvation is not in my striving. My worth is not dictated by who I am, but rather by who You are. Just like the song says, “All of You is more than enough for all of me.” Help me to rest in the work You have done and may I become more like You each day. Amen
Question: Where are you tempted to go in search of validation?