Just Because We Are

Just Because We Are

“You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self…You must stop seeing yourself through the eyes of others and trying to make them proud of you.”

~Henri Nouwen

Where do you get your identity? Who gives you your self-worth? Do you need and depend on other people-parents, spouse, child, friend, boss, co-worker to validate you as a person?

The fact is all of us want to be needed. And for most of us our livelihood is dependent upon us offering up our services for someone else’s benefit. We are made to offer up our talents and abilities for others. But that can’t be the source of our identity for which we can gain strength and value.

No one person, no one job, no title, no amount of money, gives us our worth. All of those things can be fleeting and changeable. Our worth comes not from what we are, or what we do, or what we produce, or what other people say about us, but instead just because we are.

When we spend so much of our time working to please people to receive their validation, affirmation and approval, we often lose sight of our self-worth. We don’t need to be dependent upon others to prove us valuable, important, worthy. We are all those things just because we are. Not because someone’s opinion says we are.

Michael and Tom work in a profession where people often seeking our counsel based on their brokenness. And we are more than grateful to be a listening ear for people and to utilize the gifts we have been given to encourage and support people in their need. However, it would be very tempting for us to feel as if we are indispensable and that our own self-worth is based on the amount of help we give to other people. We, like everyone else, like to be needed. And so we need to remind each other, just as we all need to be reminded, that we aren’t the saviors of the world. It is so freeing when we can get to the place where we accept the fact that we aren’t saviors of the world and that enough is enough. We give what we can, we offer up what little we have to offer to impact the world, and we can’t be all things to all people; but we can be who we are and that is enough.


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