From Theirs is the Kingdom of God by Staci Stallings
Source & Resource—the Key to Your Worth
“I am the Lord your God, you shall have no false gods before me.”
For a moment, I want you to stop and think about this commandment. What does it mean to you? Does it mean you are required to live up to God’s standards? Does it mean He’s out to get you? Is it a challenge, a threat, or a comfort?
For me, for many years it was both a threat and a challenge. It wasn’t until recently that it became a great comfort. That moment changed my life. Literally. Let me explain.
In this life we all have two ways to judge or gain our worth and acceptance—either through our Source or through our resources. Put simply, God and only God is our Source. Everything and everyone else is a resource.
Resources are those things we use in our lives. Source is that which gives us life. Our trouble starts when we think of our resources as our source. For example, we make money our source—if we have a lot of money, we feel good, we believe we are accepted and loved. If we don’t have a lot of money, our concept of our self-worth plummets. But money is not our true source. It is a resource. To make money our source is to disobey the first commandment. It is literally making something else our god.
Look for a moment at this mountain:
Where Do You Get Your Life’s Power?
In the diagram of the mountain, notice that at the top is a snow-cap where the rain and snow fall from the heavens. This water source is constantly replenished and as the snow melts will travel down the mountain to fill the rivers and streams below as it goes.
Down the mountain are smaller rivers and streams. These are not necessarily connected to the top source snowmelt (although they are if you are relying only on the snowmelt as the Source). These smaller rivers and streams are dependent upon rain that falls directly into them in order to not be dry.
Think of the rain at the top of the mountain as coming from God (your source). Think of the rain at the bottom as coming from resources. The question is, where do you get your life power? Where do you go for love, acceptance, and worth?
Many of us rely on our “resource rain.” For example, let’s say our resource of choice is grades (as mine was). If we get a good grade, the rain falls into our river, and we have life, worth, love and approval. But if (when) we do not get a good grade, or even if we get a grade that is not as good as we wanted it to be, there’s no rain, and what happens to our river? It dries up. Our worth, acceptance, and love dry up as well, and we are left working for and praying desperately for rain from a resource.
This is in truth disobeying the first commandment—we have placed something else in the space only God is to occupy. We have relied on something else to make us feel “worthy.”
Quick personal story: I made grades my resource of choice, and I worked very hard to make it rain on my river. When I was in the fifth grade, I got my first B ever. It was an 89, and I cried for three weeks. My family didn’t understand, and although I didn’t either, I really did feel the grief of that “failure” to the depths of my being. What I understand now is that by relying on the grades to be my source of worth, love, and acceptance, I was being set up to experience frustrating, fearful, crippling dryness.
In reality, it could be no other way. I made the classic mistake of relying on two resources—my own hard work and my grades—instead of on God. It was a great lesson though a very painful one.
Coming tomorrow: Resting in Your Source, Not Striving in Your Resources