Having or expressing a meaning;
I remember when I won the district debate competition. Of course, our district was small and filled with small schools. There wasn't much competition. Nonetheless, I felt significant. Then, I went to the state competition and suddenly felt insignificant in the swarm of masterful debaters.
I pursued a teaching career because I wanted my life to make a significant impact in this world. And then I went overseas as a missionary to do significant work for Christ.
Why is it that we want to find our significance in our accomplishments? I want to SEE with my own eyes that I am doing something worthwhile. I need to know that my life has meaning. And I don't know about you, but I often rely on the praise of others or some recognition. If no one else noticed what I did, then it must not be significant.
What does the Bible say about my significance?
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1. I should not be doing ministry (by the way, cleaning the kitchen floor is ministry and so is calling grandma) because I want to feel significant. That's not the right motivation for ministry. Paul said he was compelled (constrained, hemmed in, without another option) by Christ's LOVE.
There's no guilt trip here. Just a reminder to sit at Christ's feet and ask for eyes to see and heart to experience the amazing depth of His love for me. If I really understood His love, I would be consumed by it. If I experienced His love to the fullness, I would be overwhelmed.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
2. Whether or not I'm significant doesn't depend on me anymore. My life is not my own. It belongs to Him. There is an amazing sense of personal value, importance, and meaning when I embrace my home in God's family. I've been called to be His. He created me as someone of worth.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [c]
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
I have a significant place in God's economy. I am in charge of His work. For me, that means being ruler over the affairs of my home and my children. Caring for my garden and my cat. In the world's eyes, these are not significant jobs, but in God's eyes they are.
3. How easy it is to be trapped in the world's ways of defining worth. Paul says we no longer measure things by the world's standards. In God's kingdom the measuring stick of success is not based on money earned, people influenced or material goods amassed. It is based upon something else entirely. We are significant because of Whose we are, not who we are. If you need to be reminded today of who you are in Christ, go visit Neil Anderson's biblical list here.
4. Big or small - all work is significant to God when it has eternal results and when it is done for Him. He calls us ALL (His children) to be ambassadors. Isn't that amazing? We are employed by the King of heaven in the most significant work of all: changing lives.
We are ambassadors when we interact with our checker at the grocery market.
We are ambassadors when we bring food to a new mom or a shut-in.
We are ambassadors when we read Bible stories to our children.
We are ambassadors when we send an encouraging email to a friend.
If we are living in Christ and for Christ, then you and I are doing significant work all the time.