I flatter myself in believing that I am a brilliant mind. I know a little bit about turning a phrase or two. There’s a line in the movie, “Blazing Saddles,” where Slim Pickens was talking to Harvey Korman. Pickens told Korman, “You use your mouth prettier than a twenty dollar whore.”
YES, I know…rude, crude and socially unacceptable. But it is a great line from a great movie classic. Any time I feel sheepish about being complimented on my oratory shills or my writing ability, that’s the line that comes to mind. Partly because of how much I love that movie; partly because I appreciate a really cool, back-handed compliment.
Words have been my lifelong friends. It’s because of my affinity and adoration of them that they come to me and ingratiate themselves to me. I love words…they love me back. And as much as I want to keep an humble perspective on the product of that relationship, I take great pride in what comes of it.
So, when someone reads my work, or listens to me speak and responds by saying something like, “Yeah…that was alright. But, maybe you could be more honest. I don’t think you’re being REAL enough.”
I might say, “Oh, okay. Well, thanks for your input.” But what I REALLY want to say is, “Are you freaking KIDDING ME??? That was some of my BEST WORK!!! Those words and I had a delightful exchange and I was honored to share them with you. Guess I won’t be doing THAT again!” I then have to decide what is true: the criticism or the work borne of a beloved relationship.
The relationship I have with words is an internal one. When I share the fruit of that relationship with you, it is considered, ‘Intellectual Property.’ Very much like the conceptualization of a painting or a sculpture or a musical composition. There ‘appears’ to be no actual value to it until it is shared and produces a favorable response. This transaction is usually concluded by someone being willing to attach a monetary value to the product.
There are other internal relationships upon which, if we are not careful, we will let external forces place a dollar value. There is a significant worth to the characteristics of our personality; the things that determine how we love. What about our adoration and affection? Think about the loyalty and empathy that forge our friendships? How about our wit and sense of humor? Consider what we determine to be honorable and ethical.
The God who made us made those things into us, just like the makers of a luxury car built in those leather bucket seats and that ferocious, high quality sound system. There are details in that vehicle that mean nothing to the common driver. They are designed to excite the car aficionado. To God, those traits and characteristics that were built into you were meant to add to your ‘face value.’
What happens when you let someone who is not an aficionado of, “YOU” tell you what your worth is? What does it look like when you expose yourself to people who place their general expectations on you and then determine that you don’t fit the bill. Yet you insist that they are right and adjust yourself tot fit their expectations of what you are designed to be. You have just let God’s highest desire and most priceless treasure go at the equivalent price of a bargain bin DVD.
Can you imagine what that does to the heart of God? He – the King and Creator of all thins INTERNAL and ETERNAL; the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE inside you. He valued you enough to desire to dwell in you, and share the space with all of your intellectual property. And yet, there you set…determined to be undersold.
I have heard it said, and I am just now coming to understand the immense value of this statement: Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated. The way that you are designed is meant to excite the people who truly know your worth. When you allow the gift of “you” to be reduced to the worth of something that is common and disposable, that means you have accepted that you are who THEY say you are.
This is not to imply your perfection; only to infer that you are EXACTLY who God made you and that the only one that is capable telling you what needs to be perfected or corrected is THE CREATOR. He alone knows the purpose for your design. He alone would be the one to send people along your path to sharpen your corners or smooth out the rough spots. And when God sends someone to do the correction, He will send some kind of cues to your inner man to confirm that the work being done is from Him. That’s just the kind of God He is.
Friends, NEVER forget who you are. It’s not just who God is making you into; not just who you are becoming that’s important. YOU are a priceless treasure JUST AS YOU ARE. Refuse to be undersold by those who do not understand your worth. Don’t be caught selling yourself for the going rate.