Weighed and found Worthy...

To believe I'm worthy, accepted, and loved...this is the key to freedom.  Often it feels like the Mt. Everest I will never summit.  Never scale.  Never conquer.

I was in my car yesterday and my mind mulled over a phrase I'd heard before...

"You have been weighed and found wanting."

I didn't know where it originated as a quote nor why it had surfaced in my head, but over the years I've heard it in various contexts.  Sermons, conversations, lectures, meetings.  I thought it might have its origin in the writings of some ancient philospher.  I know it was quoted in the movie "A Knight's Tale" and I've heard it quoted on various shows down through the years.

But I was deeply surprised this morning that it actually originates in the Bible.  That's right, the Old Testament book of Daniel written over 2,500 years ago.  It was written on a wall (which is where we get the 'handwriting is on the wall' phrase as well) by God as a message to Belshazzar, King of Babylon.  Daniel was called as a prophet to interpret the scrawlings which he did with a little bit of trepidation. (probably thinking, "Don't kill the messenger.")...

Tekel - "You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting."

This one phrase has been passed down through the ages through word of mouth, most people completely unaware of it's origin but no one confused even a little bit of its meaning.  When it is evoked it is meant to provoke indaquacy leading to shame.

"You have been tested and failed miserably."
"You tried and fell short."
"You had a chance to prove yourself and didn't."
"You don't quite measure up."
"You don't have what it takes, son."
"You are so close, but so far away."

As a man, I have wanted to show people that "I have what it takes" from as early as I can recollect.  I've wanted to beat the competition.  I've wanted to be picked first after little league tryouts.  I've wanted to play varsity in 6th grade to showcase my prodigious skill.  I've wanted to be called "wise beyond my years".  I've wanted to get the MVP trophy.  I've wanted to be asked to manage adults as a 16 year old.  I've wanted to wear the golden sash around my neck as an honor student.  I've wanted to land the most beautiful chick on campus establishing myself as the dominant male in that particular territory.  I've wanted to be an All-American.  I've wanted to grow a student ministry from 30 to hundreds of students.  I've wanted to lead a church of over a thousand.  I've wanted to succeed when others thought I would fail. I wanted to show my critics that they were dead wrong about me.  I want to prove that kid in high school that said, "You're athletic, Jay, but you're not academic. When you get out in the real world, you're going to be the broke jock."  Wow, challenge accepted.  Say what?  It's on.  And so that's what I've done...I've accomplished all these things and still...still...I feel a lacking.

So why am I harassed by this phrase today?  Why?  I think it's because I'm afraid I will be weighted and found wanting, and I am going to make sure that doesn't happen.  That's not going to be etched in the wall of my life or tombstone.  No way, no how.

I ever remember something my wife said to me about 10 years into our marriage that I will never ever forget.  It spoke directly to this desire to be "equal to the task".  She wrote in a card for my birthday:

"I love what you're made of."

Say no more.  This is it.  To be sifted and to be found substantive.  To possess quality under the quantity.  To be true behind what you do.  She couldn't have said anything that poured more fertilizer on my heart.

But the accusations of the enemy come fast and fierce.  Most of them have to do with my worth, specifically my lack of it.  I'm not who I think I am.  I'm a fraud.  I'm a fake.  I'm a poser.  I'm an imposter.  I'm not the 'real deal".  I don't have the capacity, the competency, or the capability.  I'm bound to fail.  It's a matter of time before the house of cards comes crashing down.  I will be exposed.      I will be weighed and found wanting.

But yesterday I heard a different phrase fill my mind.  It was like salve on a wound, soothing balm on my soul.  The tension relieved and released momentarily as it washed over my tense heart...

"In Christ, you have have been weighed and found worthy.  You are wanted.  You are not a waste.  I am your Shepherd and you are in want of nothing."

What if I believed I was wanted and worthy.  That God chose and still chooses me because of what He's done, not what I've done.  Because of who He is, not because of who I am.  Because He wants to, not because He has to.  Because the cross has spoken the final word and I'm enough because his death was sufficient.  I am enough because He is sufficient.  

"His grace is sufficient for me." - 2 Corinthians 12

Lord, help me to take you at your word.


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