By Tammy Chisgar
Pastor’s Wife
Rutherford County Baptist Church
Smyrna, Tennessee

A wise woman held up a twenty dollar bill and asked the class if they wanted to have it, and every hand rose, including mine. Next she crumpled it up and asked us again, “Who would like to have this?”

Now we were all on board, competing for this bill.“ME!” came the voices, and up went the hands.

Then she threw it to the floor, and with her foot, she ground it into the tile and asked once again, “Who wants it now?”

“ME!” came the shouts.

With surprise she asked, “You would? After all that’s happened to it, you would still want it?”

She then handed it to a random woman and wisely began to teach the ladies about the love and value our God places upon us, though there may have been pain, abuse, and shame. Soon the bright and happy faces of grown women faded away to tender and teary-eyed girls—girls who carried memories of rejection and hurt, girls with broken relationships and painful pasts. I thought, “Oh, the need there is among women to understand the love of God.”

When humans hurt humans, our loving Heavenly Father also suffers because the understanding of His perfect plan of love and reconciliation will be severed once again in the mind of the victim. I assume the childlike side in all of us mistakenly replaces God’s view of us with man’s view of us. However, I believe we have the head knowledge that says, “No, God would not treat me this way, and He would never send me messages of rejection and pain.” Yet if we are still reacting to people’s painful blows, then we are still hungering for human approval. The danger is that we will never reach a heart knowledge of God’s love as long as the child in us is looking to man.

Something is wonderfully peaceful about knowing God more and more. For one, you are made more aware of your own sinful state. Isaiah said, “…Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5) As the prophet drew closer to God, he saw his own shamefulness and was quite aware of his need for mercy. This is important because now, when he turns to his fellow man, he will have a greater knowledge that sinful man needs mercy, and he will be able to offer it. Oh yes, and spending time with a forgiving Jesus will happily take away our need to be accepted by people who also need a forgiving Saviour.

So are you offended today? Is there a painful empty place in your heart that you have reserved for that apology you hope to hear one day? Is there a part of you that can’t feel the value of God’s love because you seek it from a human source? Precious girl, it is time to lay these painful happenings down and pick up the only source of peace and value—Jesus.

Someone said, “Jesus doesn’t love me because I am valuable. I am valuable because Jesus loves me.” And so it is with us; no one and nothing can give us value but Jesus. You are not less valuable to Him because you were crumpled and thrown down by others; He says that He loves us with an everlasting love. It is time to let our human expectations go and fill up on the endless love of God Himself.

P.S. No, she didn’t give the twenty dollar bill to me…bummer!