In a hierarchy of needs, significance features at the higher end. If we’re starving hungry we don’t get to feel insignificant so much. Yet, many people reading this will have those lower order needs met. Therefore, significance can be a real issue.
It’s easy to be duped into feeling unimportant.
It comes from feeling of lower value or worth than you expect. It happens in workplaces, within families, and even within our own souls.
Sources of Significance and Insignificance
Most of us work on models of significance that we learned; indeed, perhaps all. We derived these from our parents, teachers, and impactful role models in our workplaces.
Anywhere we came to rely on relationships we determined, from those, what significance meant and what it means, today. In other words, these people informed us what significance means. Many of their models were, and remain, wrong.
Yet, they will still govern our belief systems—until we challenge them.
Even when we challenge them we may find them so deep-seated they prove impossible to shift. There is hope, however. Truth is always ready for deployment.
Truth will crush the veneer power of insignificance and restore the solidity of significance.
An Advantage for Christians – If They’ll Remember
If ever we want a better sense of what personal significance truly means we have to investigate the truth, relegating those false models null and void. This requires retraining our minds, and forgiving those who taught us wrong in the first place. The world reinforces many bad models regarding worth.
There is an advantage for Christians in remembering their significance—indeed the significance of all humankind—bears the mark of God incarnate, himself.
A better model for human significance nobody could find: the Lord Jesus crucified so that significance is not only redefined, but life too; an eternal destiny re-shifted.
But, it’s not natural for Christians to think this way; most require frequent, even daily, reminders.
Some Basic Truths Regarding Significance
God designed us significant enough to give us a unique body, a creative and functional mind, and an eternal soul. Rolled within our DNA is the potential to live as long as any other human being today. Given the opportunities we can achieve and survive anything, by God’s grace.
Then we can consider the significance of being presently alive; riding the wave on the cusp of time. Think of the millions of human beings who no longer have that privilege. Life is a mystery, and by common virtue it’s significant. We are therefore significant just the fact that we are living beings.
Lastly, significance isn’t yet fulfilled. When we meet God all things will be revealed.
Eternity completes the equation regarding our significance. We are eternal beings, made to live forever. When we feel insignificant we should trust what God has told us.
Our meaning fumbles in a temporary realm; meaning is, however, permanent in the eternal.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.