We are currently going through the process of refinancing our house.
My husband informed me one day recently that someone was coming the next day to do “The Appraisal.”
Of course, my first response was one of grace and decorum. “What?! He can’t come! The house is a mess right now!” Truthfully, I don’t know whether a messy house can affect an appraisal, but I didn’t want anyone coming through our home either way!
The situation got me thinking about “appraisals” in general. By definition, an appraisal is:
an act of assessing something or someone; an expert estimate of the value of something.
When we make an appraisal of ourselves, how do we do it?
Often, I believe, we compare ourselves to others. We tend to base how well we’re doing in certain areas of life upon what we see others doing or being.
- “I’m not leading a Bible study like she is–am I not as spiritually mature?”
- “Should I be homeschooling since so many of my friends are doing it?”
- “I don’t read…write…run…study…exercise…etc., like (fill in the blank) does.
- “I’m not quite as overweight as her, so I’m doing ok.”
- (Fill in your own comparison example)
Is this a healthy way to “appraise” ourselves? Pretty obvious answer. So, how should we evaluate? That’s probably pretty obvious too, but let me share a thought from Scripture anyway:
As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body…God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well… (Romans 12:3-6 NLT)
It might seem intimidating, but in truth it is freeing to measure ourselves by God’s standards rather than looking at everyone else around us.
First of all, our heavenly Father has given us such unique gifts and abilities, and he expects us to use those to please Him. Think about that! We are called to please ONE, to measure up to that ONE’s standards, not the many’s.
Secondly, our worth is based on the value our Father has given us–because of HIS great love. Our worth is not based on how much we do or don’t do compared to others.
Housing appraisals are based on things like the current market, similar houses, the neighborhood, size, land value, etc. etc. Comparison with others–maybe necessary in the housing market, but unhealthy in our personal lives.
One final thought: When we rightly appraise our lives by God’s standards and call for us, and find that we are not measuring up, there is incredible HOPE!
He knows, He sees, He disciplines, but he never stops loving, forgiving, renewing and restoring.
By what, or who, are you “appraising” yourself?