Dr. Myles Munroe was a well-known pastor, speaker and teacher. Dr. Munroe was known for saying The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without purpose.
Dr. Munroe’s words live on because he spoke the truth about life, and the reality is that a life without purpose is a sad way to live. As we come into this holiday season, I am keenly aware that these early evenings, very dark nights, colder days and seemingly more quiet times appear to be cause for great personal reflection, that for some, if you don’t guard your thoughts and keep focused on the value of life during this time, will short change themselves and those who love them.
If you’re struggling today because of the quiet, cold darkness of this season, please afford me 8 minutes of your time to hear my thoughts on the value I see that you bring to the world. Now, before you change the station, because you don’t really want to hear this type of responsible-encouragement-for-you-life chatter, will you please give me just a few minutes to make my case?
I am sure that many who are listening were told when you were growing up that you are one of kind, special in your own sort of way, and there is no one else like you. Now for those of you who did not hear those words of empowerment from your parents or guardians, and even those of you who did but rejected that truth, let me re-assure you that, no matter what you think about your life’s value, the fact stands that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and the person who you really are—not the person who others think you are, but who you really are—is of great value.
I want you to take note of this thought by Edwin Elliott who once said, by being yourself; you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.
Even though it is hard or whether you believe me or not, I want you to remember the fact that you bring something wonderful into the world that no one has brought before. No one else can bring what you bring and no one else has been created for what you have been created for—you are the only one.
Think about this, that out of 7.2 billion people who live in the world today (and the US has 319 million of that number), and knowing that the world population increases by more than 200,000 people per day, think about how amazing it is that no one is like you. There might be someone who looks a lot like you and may act like you, but there is only one you! Pretty amazing, when you think about it, so don’t you think you should take care of yourself?
I’ve been around long enough to know that many listening don’t value themselves in the understanding that they are the only one, and I hesitate to push the envelope for fear of you tuning me out, because for some odd reason you really don’t like hearing that you’re the only one of you, and that you have value and a special place in someone’s heart (whether that person is still living or has gone on to their eternal rest). The reminder that you bring something wonderful into the world that was not there before is such a foreign thought, or is of no meaning to you, so being asked to stop and think about your personal value is annoying.
Maybe it’s because when you know you have value you instinctively know that now you have responsibilities—a responsibility to straighten up and fly right and make something of yourself—and that is more than some choose to do at this time. I’m not going to call you out on that (at least not today), but I do want you to stop and consider the whole and not just the small part—that you think you will be not be missed—because, friend, you will be missed if you’re gone—it’s just a fact.
So what I want to know is how I can help you see that by being your one-in-a-million self, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.
I believe it all boils down to the simple understanding of a very basic fact and that is, friend, that you have value just the way you are. Oh, sure, you could consider making some changes for your health, your family; your finances but that’s the easy part, and you can make those changes without much personal sacrifice when and if you choose to. I just want to remind you that it’s okay to be yourself, of course, that is, if you are living to the best of your ability, your best self and your best life, because that is a requirement in order to live a life with purpose and to put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.
I like the quote from Dan Coppersmith who said, Be yourself. If you water yourself down to please people or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom and the joy of being uniquely you. It’s much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.
So with that in mind this season, let me focus on 3 things I’d like you to think about.
- I want to you consider the phrase Love yourself first and everything else falls into place. It’s true, if you will just re-learn to love yourself, you will begin to value who you are and who you have become, and then everything else will fall into place. Now the pieces may be a bit out of order at first, but over time they will begin to fit just like with a 1,000-piece puzzle, albeit a little slower, because your growth nowadays is measured in days, weeks, months and years. But once you see the big picture of how loving yourself first is your first true calling, you will then begin to heal the brokenness of life and all the outcast pieces will make sense when finally put into place.
Friends, don’t forget to look at the big picture before you make a decision about what you think your current state may be. It can all change in an instant the moment you chose for it to.
By loving yourself first, everything else will fall into place, and by being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.
- The second point I’d like to make is that it is vitally important that you surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart and nourish your soul. I really can’t stress this enough that you find your tribe who are going in the direction that you wish to go. If you don’t have the strength today to lead the parade, then just ride along with the others until you are well enough to forge your own path, but go in the direction of your dreams with friends and family who are hungry for the same flavors of life that you enjoy.
In this short life you have got to find those who, by their love, kindness and mercy, touch your heart, because, friends, whatever happens, wherever you go and whatever you do, you must find those who can put the fire in your soul, who see the stars in your eyes and feel the passion in your heart—those are the people who will understand that you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before, and they will celebrate that with you.
I really don’t understand why you would waste a minute of your valuable time with people who do not nourish your soul. Simply put, if it doesn’t nourish your soul, let it go.
- My third point is this. As hard as it sounds, when someone isn’t treating you right, no matter how much you think you love them, you’ve got to love yourself more and walk away. It is important that you respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.
I love the quote by Don Ruiz. If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
Someone posted this quote online a while back. If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Maybe you’ve marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what you’re worth. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables.—unknown.
And the reason why is simply this. By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. Because, friend, you have value just the way you are, and it’s okay to be your amazing self, because that’s living a life with purpose.
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