It’s Narcissist Friday!
What if you were the most beautiful thing in the world? More beautiful than flowers or crystals or sunsets or anything in nature? What if the heart of God looked at you and was blessed?
That’s not far from the truth, is it? The only difference is that you share that beauty with every other person. Humanity is the pinnacle of God’s creation, the best of all. And that means you.
Jesus told the story of a man who found a beautiful pearl in his travels. It was the most wonderful treasure he had ever seen. Its value was beyond imagination. Yet, it was for sale. The man immediately decided to sell everything he had to purchase the pearl.
That’s where the story ends. What did the man do with the pearl? We are left with the thought that the man just enjoyed the beautiful pearl for the rest of his life. Nothing else mattered.
And, in the real world, that seems like a silly story. What did the man have to live on after that? He sold everything to get the pearl. What value was the pearl to him if he couldn’t gain income or resale from it? He would have to protect it from thieves, take care when viewing it, and dedicate the rest of his life to having that pearl. The practical side of us has a hard time connecting with the story.
But the story is not about marketing, it’s about love.
And YOU ARE THE PEARL!
Jesus was talking about the kingdom of Heaven. The Father seeks the lost to bring them home. He reaches out to them in love. He paid the price, Jesus on the cross, to redeem us from the bondage of sin. Jesus suffered and died, with joy in His heart, to bring us to the Father.
Why? Was it so that we would be useful? Was it so that we would work for the Father? No, it was so that He could enjoy us forever. He just wanted us with Him. He paid the price because He loved us.
When God chose the nation of Israel, it was not because of their usefulness.
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Legalists and narcissists and many others see you for your usefulness. As long as you are useful to them, you will be valuable. When that usefulness goes away, for whatever reason, they will abandon you for another. Abusers never connect with you because of love.
But God loves you. He sees you as a person and values you as a treasure. He is not against you because of your sin. He washes your sin away. He does not welcome you because of what you can do for Him. He just loves you. And, yes, that mystery is beyond our understanding.
So, I would have you always consider yourself to be that “pearl of great price.” When you think of yourself, remember that God gave His best to bring you to Himself. No one can diminish your value. Criticisms, betrayals, rejection: these things only show that others do not see your value because they look only at themselves. Don’t accept their judgments.
Remember who you are.