Saturday, June 29, 2019

Damaged Goods


Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)
Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

Did you ever stop to think that God purchased mankind "As Is"?

When someone purchases a house, car or furniture "As Is" that always means that they see something of value in spite of the obvious damage. When God looks at human beings, He sees His greatest creation; that He loves more than we can imagine. He doesn’t love us because we’re good. He loves us because He sees His image in us. And His image is good, although it is marred and distorted because of our fallen nature.

When we bring our life coaching foundational teaching to individuals and groups, we tell them that they were created in the image of God. We tell them that they were created to do more than just work, pay bills and die. We tell them that they have a purpose in life. We tell them that each person has a part of God’s dream locked within them. We tell them that each and every life was brought forth to make a contribution to the world.

However, we also let them know that every person needs to be connected with God in order to bring forth all of that potential. This divine connection is necessary because we all have a propensity toward selfishness and self-destruction.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways we are helping people to identify the worldly lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies,
I want to discuss the lie that says, “People are basically good!” 

All we have to do is watch the daily news reporting of people murdering other people simply because of their skin color, religion, ethnicity or nationality, and we know that people are not basically good. They can have good intentions and good potential.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we daily fight our baser instincts of selfishness, self centeredness, dishonesty, greed, etc.

The idea that we are imperfect human beings bothers those who don’t want to look at themselves or their motives too closely. They would prefer to think of themselves as decent human beings who always have pure motives.

In his book, The Lies We Believe, Dr. Chris Thurman quotes a view held by noted humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow:

"This inner nature, as much as we know of it so far, seems not to be intrinsically or primarily or necessarily evil {but rather} neutral…or positively 'good." …Since this inner nature is good or neutral rather than bad, it is best to bring it out and to encourage it rather than to suppress it.
If it is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy.”

Dr. Thurman goes on to say, (It always annoys me when people who have no children and was never married, come up with these theories that they have never put into practice in their own lives first, before making them public to be put into practice.)

I agree with Dr. Thurman!

This perspective of human nature can’t be true in the light of human history. If humans are the saintly creatures some would like us to believe, then we wouldn’t have experienced all of the horrors of human-on-human crimes.  Our history has shown the murderous heart of man, his greed, hatred, subjugation of the helpless, and the subsequent establishment of systems that have been put in place, and made to be self-perpetuating, in order to keep various people groups imprisoned in various forms of slavery all over the world. 

If humanity was basically good, this could never have happened. We would be able to live peacefully with any people group, without any malice or wanting to be in control of others. We would actually be able to enjoy the diversity of others instead of being insecure and threatened by it.

Humanity is usually not as selfless as we would like to think. We tend to be more self-destructive than healthy in our lifestyles and discontented than happy with what we have.

We are not only out of shape physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  If we were basically good people, we would be physically fit, emotionally whole, and spiritually strong.

From this self-centered perspective, mankind wants to decide what is good and what is bad.

Therefore, we find it easy to kill an unborn child and call it a choice. We find it easy to bully people (in the name of tolerance) into submission to the majority, even if the majority's rule is wrong. We find it easy to defy the laws of nature and nature's God. We find it easy to call these ways of thinking, good.

Now that’s not to say that humanity has no value and is without any redeeming qualities.

In fact, we know that mankind was created in the very image of God. We also know that mankind was so important to God that HE sacrificed His only begotten Son to reconcile mankind back to Himself. You might say that man’s worth is the price paid by Jesus Christ.

However, we cannot confuse the image of God within man, with the fallen nature of man. Although man has the potential for good, man needs the power of God to bring forth that goodness.

Think of it this way: God purchased damaged goods.

In our early years of marriage, I was so disappointed with myself because of my own selfish tendencies.  I knew that I had to fight those tendencies in order to have a healthy marriage.

It was a part of my growing in my thinking from “me” to “we” and becoming one with my husband.

Most of us have a desire to be better than we are, and we strive to be so. To believe that we are all intrinsically good is just not true.  We have to see ourselves for who we really are, look at our responses to daily life and tell ourselves the truth.

Refusing to recognize our own short comings and horrible potential for adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like,
is a sign of pride.   

If people were basically good, God wouldn’t have needed to send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.  In Isaiah 53:6 it says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

Iniquity is a weakness toward a particular sin or a harmful habit. For example, any kind of addiction is an iniquity. However, iniquity has an even deeper meaning. Iniquity is more than just wrong acts and deeds. The deeper meaning of iniquity is lawlessness. It’s a mindset that there are no rules and it is the belief that we can do whatever we want to do because there is no right or wrong.  That’s why we say that man is not basically good. The Bible says that man is basically lawless. And that’s not good.

The way to see that divine image come forth in a human being is for that person to come into relationship with God the Father through His Son. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, which means God is ruling in one's heart, we must develop a lifestyle of walking in the Spirit. This new lifestyle will exemplify the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This is the potential God saw inside of us.

So, we don’t tell our clients that they are already good. We tell them that they are already loved, valued and extremely important to God. We have found that these declarations plant a seed of desire within people to not only want to BE good, but to know the God who will make them good.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Worth the Wait

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches.  God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation.  Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past five categories of lies, according to Dr. Chris Thurman who wrote a book called, The Lies We Believe. The five categories are the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that have been received and believed by millions of people.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Chris and I are helping people to identify the lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies, I want to discuss the lie that says, “You shouldn’t have to wait for what you want.”

In my last letter I talked about the ‘You can have it all’ lie. The ‘You don’t have to wait’ lie is a similar version of last week’s theme.

There are many who feel they don’t have to wait until they actually have the money to buy what they want. We have an entire financial system that allows us to just use plastic money.

I have noticed that in social media, we don’t spend the time researching an issue before we try to speak authoritatively about it.

If we arrive at school to pick up our children and see a teacher scolding one of them, instead of finding out what’s really happening, parents tend to go charging in to let the teacher have it, for correcting their child. 

Being able to have the job you want, buy the things you want, or eat the food you like is very gratifying, especially when we can do these things without having to wait. We don’t want to take the time to think about the consequences of these quick decisions. We don’t want to think about the bills we have to pay after those impulse purchases or the calories associated with the foods we love to eat at any time of day or night.  I don’t know about you, but just thinking about exercise makes me tired!  The way many people live is, “Eat, drink and be merry, but don’t think about tomorrow.”

No one likes to face the reality that it takes time to accomplish the most important things in life and that we must resist the strong urges for instant gratification.

As life coaches, we are often asked for answers that would quickly solve the client’s problems. They often want instant solutions without having to endure a process of healing or restoration. Some clients, when they understand that it took a long, long time to get into their present situation and that it will also take a while to heal and correct the issue, will sometimes choose not to come back to complete the process.

Dr. Chris Thurman states in his book The Lies We Believe:

“Waiting is a lost art in our country today. Far too many consumers aren’t waiting until they actually have the money before they buy something, far too many couples aren’t waiting to give their relationship time to grow, far too many teenagers aren’t waiting until marriage to have sex, far too many people don’t wait until someone is finished speaking before they start saying their piece, and far too many drivers don’t wait to merge.  It is an ‘I shouldn’t have to wait’ culture, and credit card debt, divorce, unwanted pregnancies (or unwanted children), rudeness, and highway deaths are just part of the price tag.”

In our unwillingness to wait on the things we want, we do ourselves harm and we harm others around us.  A man and woman, or boy and girl can become parents, but because they don’t want the responsibility, they may abandon the child. if fact, they might choose to abort the baby before it is even born.  A teenage boy or girl seduces the other person to satiate a desire without thinking about the other person. Their only concern is with fulfilling their desire with no thought about how this decision will affect the other person (pregnancy, STDs, emotional soul tie, etc.).

We can hear part of a conversation, assume we know what was being discussed, and assume we understand the positions of the people talking.  We can jump into the conversation and create a huge and unnecessary argument.

In this impatient, impulsive culture, people think of themselves as being far more important than those around them. That’s certainly true when they feel they must text while driving; putting everyone around them at risk.

The truth is that the most important people and things in life are worth waiting for. In order to be more sure about the decisions we are making, we need to take the time to not only do some external research, but take the time to do some internal research.

Find out what is at the core of your impatience. We must stop and deal with this very strong urge for instant gratification and its accompanying desire for that which is forbidden.  It’s a powerful drive that we’re born with. No one has to teach us this response to life. Just delay the feeding of an infant and you’ll see it. Just tell a toddler to wait and you’ll see it.

For many people, they never matured in learning how to curb or control this basic instinct.  Now we live in a society that encourages everyone to give in to and indulge their cravings.

I encourage you to pay attention to your own behavior and see if you have believed and received this lie. Do you actually take time to get to know the people you choose to be in relationship with? Do you stop and reconsider the consequences before you make a purchase or respond to another person’s words and actions?

From my position as a coach, I believe we need to ask questions and receive counsel from those who have demonstrated discipline and success in this area of their lives. Talk with people who have healthy spending habits and healthy relationships. You’ll discover that they have learned to resist the lie that you don’t have to wait for what you want. They know the value of those things that are worth waiting for.

We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Thank You Daddy




I have some very fond memories with my dad. He was a fun-loving dad who always threw caution to the wind. It got him in trouble many times, but it also gave his children a sense of adventure and daring that proved to be very helpful for us when we found ourselves called in to the ministry.

My dad saw my love for sports and took me to my first baseball game. The St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Montreal Expos and Jose Cardenal hit a two run double in the seventh inning that gave them a 4-2 victory. I couldn’t believe I was actually there, in a 50,000 seat stadium, looking at the high tech scoreboard, the massive crowd, and experiencing all the sounds I always heard when I listened to games on the radio. I had become a devoted fan; and dad gave me a chance to experience the real thing; to actually see my heroes live and in person. I have cherished that memory all of my life. 

There were many other games in the years that followed. I especially loved the day I sat between my dad and his dad and watched Bob Gibson, my all time favorite Cardinal baseball player, pitch on Labor Day. I actually realized I was experiencing something very special that would never happen again; three generations, sitting together, enjoying our favorite sport.

James Green (My Dad)
Those were the times that established something in my heart that I have tried to give my children. There are once-in-a-life-time opportunities that come your way, and I tried to stay prepared for those moments with my sons. Then there are some things you cannot wait for, because some memories you simply have to make.

Through the years, I hope my children have had special moments that they can recall with the same kind of fondness and deep impacting love that I feel when I think back on special moments with my dad.


My dad didn’t always put his arms around my shoulder, or say 'I love you' in those moments. He wasn’t that kind of man. He gave us nicknames and he always told us he was proud of us. When I was struggling in arithmetic, he started calling me 'math major' and it built my confidence to try harder and I found success. I became a straight-A student in math.

My dad is not perfect. He had his issues with his children from time to time, like any father. I was sort of a middle child. He married my mom, who already had a precious little girl, and they had three sons before I came along. One son died while my mom was pregnant with me. Then they had two more children after me. 

There were many times when life was very hard. It was downright harsh and cruel for him. I was angry with him a few times, mainly because I had no idea what it took to be the head of the household. I learned from his mistakes, as well as his resiliency. And maybe that’s the greatest thing my dad gave us; resiliency.

Just like my dad’s journey, as a husband and father, life has been hard, sometimes harsh and downright cruel for me, but I learned from my dad how to get up and go to work every day, no matter how you feel. When I lost jobs, opportunities, homes, friends, and loved ones, I knew how to get up and keep going. Dad demonstrated to us that you should never give up, even after a failure. You never stop, no matter how you feel.

So in honor of my dad and ultimately, God, my heavenly Father, I wrote a song many years ago that expresses thanks. I gave it an informal title: Thank You Daddy.

I just want to share that song with you this week. 

The original recording can be heard HERE.

The lyrics are:

There’s so much I take for granted, Like the rising of the sun
Every time I see the morning, Never thankful for the dawn

Like a father who’s always there, With the same things every day
So consistent and expected, Sometimes I forget to say

(Chorus)
Thank you daddy
For the blue that’s in the sky
Thank you daddy
For the light that’s in Your eye
Thank you daddy
For the life beat I’ve been handed
I get so busy
I'm taking you for granted

There’s so much you’re always doing, You watch my life and keep me safe
Sometimes you throw in extras, Giving me a little bit more grace

You take the time to listen, When all I bring are complaints
You carry me on your shoulders, And you sing to me in the rain

I can always recall the discipline you gave
All the nights you spent with me, And the path that you have paved

You’ll give more love tomorrow than all my yesterdays
So please forgive me daddy, I never take the time to say 

Thank you, thank you
For every single day

Thank you, thank you
For every breath I take

Thank you, thank you 
You made us sons and daughters

Thank you, thank you
Because you are our Father

Thank you

© Green, Christopher 2001



When Life Isn't Fair

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches.  A few years ago, my husband began teaching about Believers moving in stealth-mode in order to be more effective in soul winning and discipleship. He said we must learn to operate under the radar, not seeking attention, acclaim or accolades. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to minister in stealth and under the radar. It was through life coaching.

God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past five categories of lies, according to Dr. Chris Thurman who wrote a book called, The Lies We Believe. The five categories are the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that have been received and believed by millions of people.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Chris and I are helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies,
I want to discuss the lie that says, “Life should be fair!”

We all would prefer the people we have to interact with to treat us fairly; without wondering if they’re being honest with us.  As a child I was taught to treat others fairly and to expect to be treated fairly by most people.  The problem comes when you interact with people who don’t believe or live that way. And then there are things that happen in life that simply are not fair.

In 1986, after we had our first son, I went back to work after taking the customary six-week maternity leave. I returned to work only to discover that I had been laid off.  My co-workers, knowing that I was coming back to this situation, gave me a baby shower and large item gifts.  The company gave me a two-week severance package.  Life was certainly unfair at that time because we had just bought a house and a second car, and I knew this lay-off would mean the loss of the house or the car since we depended on two salaries to maintain our household expenses. 

I admit to wishing that somehow, something would happen so that we wouldn’t have to lose anything.  Wishing the situation would change didn’t make it change. That was the reality that my husband and I had to accept.  It was very hard, hurtful and embarrassing to accept that I couldn’t find a job in time enough to keep our house and car. It seemed so unfair that we were losing everything while others, who were often wasteful and frivolous with their spending, still had their jobs and vehicles. Why was this happening to us?
 
King Solomon said this in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Simply put, the fastest person does not always win the race, the strongest person doesn’t always win the battle, the wisest person doesn’t always reap the benefits of their wisdom, the person who understands how to obtain riches doesn’t always get the money, and the person with the most skills doesn’t always get chosen to do the job.

Why does this happen? Solomon says it’s because time and chance can happen. The fastest runner might stumble and lose the race. The strongest person might slip and lose the fight.

The wisest person’s decision might go awry. It might be the wrong time to invest and the financial genius might not see the expected return on their investment. The person with the most skill might be ignored in place of a person who arrives at a job site first. We can find ourselves in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and it simply might be a matter of timing and chance.

At the time that company laid me off, they had a last hired, first fired policy. Their industry was suffering due to national economic problems. I was one of many who fell into the last-hired category.  Was it fair to fire me for that?  It was one of those things that was unfair in life and not a personal attack on me.  People from all ethnic groups and ages were laid off as well.  I had to take the time to really look at the situation and choose not to take it personally because it wasn’t personal.  It did not feel fair, but it was prudent for the company’s survival.

As a kingdom of God citizen, how will you handle the unfair situations of your life?  Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book, The Lies We Believe, gives a few suggestions in handling unfairness when you experience it in life’s circumstances or directly from people:

First, call things what they are, so that the starting point in dealing with unfairness is to call it unfairness.  That may be obvious, but far too often we make excuses for others. We act as though what they did wasn’t unfair, or we call unfairness by some other name just to smooth things over or keep the peace.

Second, allow yourself to feel hurt and angry when something unfair happens.  Notice I said hurt and angry.  I didn’t say bitter, resentful and enraged.  There is a big difference.  It is appropriate to feel hurt and angry when something unfair happens, so let yourself feel these emotions.

Third, decide whether you want to assert yourself and try to correct the unfairness.  Some things are worth speaking up about such as being overcharged for repairing your car because you’re a woman.  Some things are not worth the fight such as someone gets a few more french fries in their order than you did.  There is a time to stand up and say, “I am not going to take this!” and a time to say, “No big deal, I’m gonna let this one slide.”

Fourth, you need to work on not taking what happened personally.  Whether someone intentionally or unintentionally acted unfairly, what happened wasn’t a personal statement about you.  Some of us are so personally insulted when something unfair comes our way, we grossly overreact. Though easier said than done, we must realize that unfairness toward us is not always personal.

That job layoff was one experience in which I learned not to take a decision that went against me as a personal attack.  There will be times that life won’t go as planned and it will feel unfair. We don’t always know all of the variables surrounding the circumstances of our lives, but God does!  Trust Him!  He is fair and He will turn it for your good!

We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Life Should Be Easy?

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

A few years ago, my husband began teaching people of Faith about moving in stealth-mode in order to be more effective in soul winning and discipleship. He said we must learn to operate under the radar, not seeking attention, acclaim or accolades. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to minister in stealth and under the radar. It was through life coaching.

God has been using this aspect of our community outreach to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that they have received and believed.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways we are helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies, I want to discuss the lie that says, “Life should be easy!”

We all would like life to be easy and many of us are doing our best to try to make it easier. There are all kinds of gadgets that have been invented to make life easier.  I would hate to be without my microwave, central air conditioning (even though I grew up without it), or the automatic dishwasher.  I would rather not do without them after having the convenience of them for so long.

Of course there is nothing wrong with trying to make every day life as convenient as possible because it saves time while giving us more time to do the things we would rather do.
The problem occurs when we believe the worldly lie that all of life should be easy; that we shouldn’t have to experience difficulties at all.

This can present a theological problem for some of our readers because of their understanding of what it means to live and walk by faith. Right now, I’m addressing an unhealthy, unrealistic expectation that we have encountered with some of our clients and perhaps some of you, your friends or family members. I’m addressing the thought behind the behavior that triggers a person to run away from any thing or any thought that will produce any kind of pain or discomfort.

We know a young man who married a woman who had a drug addiction. He did so against the advice of his family. He thought he could help her. However, because of her addiction, he lost his house, car and his self-confidence. They eventually divorced. This failure damaged the way he saw himself. He expected marriage to be easy. He expected her healing process to be easy. He had believed that worldly lie (life should be easy) and even used Bible scripture to try to minimize the battles he had taken on.

We tried to advise him in how to move on with his life, but the only thing he wanted to focus on was how badly he was treated by his ex-wife. To this day, it is very difficult to talk to him about the challenges of everyday life, especially if you disagree with him. He tends to explode and not want to continue the conversation.  He has become resentful and bitter, unwilling to accept or see his part in the relationship’s collapse. Like so many people, he did not anticipate the hard work that is necessary. When life did not unfold with the ease that he expected, he became another one of those people who run away from any conversations or any issues that cause any kind of pain or discomfort.

Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book The Lies We Believe, says, “Life is not easy. Never has been, never will be.  Whether we like it or not, the fact of the matter is that life is tough.

The willingness to accept this, truly accept it, helps us to have a life free from bitterness and resentment.  Some people do have it better than we do. But many people, many people, have it a whole lot worse.  And all of us have issues to deal with it.”

One of the revelations my husband presented in a weekly newsletter, is that we live in a fallen world.  My husband wrote:

“We must accept the reality that we live in a fallen, frail and fractured world. We live among imperfect people who are making choices and many of those choices affect us and everyone around them.

We live in a world where gas runs out, time moves on, machines wear down, accidents happen, and plans fail. Due to gravity, objects will fall and break.  Human frailty means we can slip or stumble. Sometimes we guess and we guess wrong. Sometimes we assume and circumstances change and our assumption goes awry. Sometimes we miscalculate.

It’s not a demon. It’s not a particular sin. (It’s not even a lack of FAITH). We live in a world in which sin and evil have caused it to be broken and unpredictable.”

We have seen first-hand that when people reject the concept that we aren’t owed comfort and ease in life, they tend to experience bitterness and resentment in the aftermath of their failed expectations of life.  They begin alienating those around them.

Did you know that our physical bodies respond to the emotions of bitterness and resentment by releasing harmful chemicals into its own systems? That physical response, alone, provides further proof that the worldly lie, “Life should be easy” is nothing more than a set up for more negative consequences that we could not have anticipated.

In life, there are hard times and seasons. We don’t like it when we have to face hard times, but these moments do something that nothing else can.  When we choose to face and persevere through hard times, it builds intestinal fortitude, our spiritual muscles are strengthened, and we gain experience and wisdom for future challenges.

Ultimately, we learn to place all of our hope and expectations in Christ alone. This world will continue to be broken and unpredictable, but life in Christ is about experiencing victory, even in a fallen world.

We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Your Eternal Worth and Value

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are serving on the front lines as community life coaches. This aspect of our work provides practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation.

Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past five categories of lies, according to Dr. Chris Thurman who wrote a book called, The Lies We Believe. Those five categories are the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that have been received and believed by millions of people.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Chris (my husband) and I are helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies, I want to uncover the lie that says, “My worth is determined by my performance.”

There are many people who connect their personal worth and value to how well they perform and how much their work performance is appreciated by the people in their jobs, careers, families, schools, churches, etc.  For nine years, I worked in Pennsylvania's state government and the yearly performance review was very important. A successful evaluation could mean a promotion and higher wages.

I strove to build a good work ethic by becoming an employee that was reliable and easy to work with.  It made me feel good to have my work ethic appreciated by my immediate supervisor and coworkers.  However, I had an internal fight to make sure that my personal self-worth was not connected to my desire to be appreciated for my work ethic.  My employment value would have been in question, had I not been able to fulfill the job requirements, but not my personal worth and value.

In our culture, when a person does well in their chosen field, they are highlighted as someone to emulate in order to achieve similar success in our lives; in order to make our lives worthwhile to society.  Unfortunately, success has been redefined as having worth. If you’re successful, then you are worth honor, awards, money and fame.  So we go about our lives trying to earn and build success in order to build our personal worth and value.

In his book, The Lies We Believe, Dr. Chris Thurman relates a story about a pre-med student by the name of Kathy Ormsby:

Kathy Ormsby was also an honor student and track star at North Carolina State University.  She was the collegiate record holder in the women’s ten thousand meter run.  Something unexpected happened during the 1986 NCAA track and field championship race.  Kathy fell behind and couldn’t seem to catch the front-runner.  In a startling move, she ran off the track and out of the stadium to a nearby bridge, where she jumped off.  The forty foot fall permanently paralyzed her from the waist down.

Without knowing Kathy personally, it can only be presumed that the pressure she put on herself to be perfect coupled with a tendency to equate her worth with performance created a level of misery she couldn’t handle.  Many of us struggle with those two issues – having to be perfect and having personal worth dictated by achievement – reach a point of total despair, even suicide, when we experience failure.

Dr. Thurman asked several questions that we all need to answer:
• How can we find a stable sense of worth in a world that focuses on what we do, instead of who we are?
• Who are you apart from what you do?
• Do you have to “do” to have worth, or are you clear yet that you ”are” a person of innate worth because of whose image you bear?

We live in a world that promotes a message that is hard to ignore; that constantly communicates that our worth is found in what we do and in how well we perform.

What is it that truly gives a person worth? The TRUTH is that we all have worth and value because we have been made in the likeness and image of God.  In Psalms 139:14 it states that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made by our heavenly Father who created the universe. According to Dr. Thurman, we have been formed by an eternal God and therefore, we have eternal worth and value that has nothing to do with performance, achievements and our various definitions of success.

And I’ll add a side note to address America’s ethnic and skin-color wars: Everyone’s value and worth is equal! We are all priceless! God made us diverse and unique for specific purposes. Therefore, never say that you don't see color and you don't see differences. Yes, we see them. Yes, we can acknowledge them. We just don't have to let those differences divide us.

My husband and I personally understand the history and heartache of many people in the Black Lives Matter movement. We also understand the push-back from the All Lives Matter crowd! But the key is for all to discover their true worth and value in God through Jesus Christ. Then we can all begin to work through our negative history in this country from God's perspective; from a Kingdom of God world view. 

Of course, living in a world that is constantly pushing a belief and agenda that is contrary to our Creator can be difficult.  We have to constantly reinforce the truth taught in the word of God by reading it, believing it, and walking it out daily. We must choose daily to receive the grace and truth that is available to us. That's where we find our eternal worth and value.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green