The folly of a personal “exchange rate.”

There are people I know who feel their personal value is subject to the same fluctuations as the world’s currencies.

As an American businessman living and running a company in Germany, the exchange rate was a very important factor in my dad’s everyday life. He’d get up in the morning.. check the weather, the headlines and peek at the ever-fluctuating value of the dollar against what was then the pre-Euro, German Mark.


Fast forward a few decades and I also have friends who wake up in the morning, check their Facebook feed, and calculate their value by comparing themselves against the lives of their 598 “friends.”

Sally just got married (I’m still single)

Jane took at trip to Bali (I haven’t had a day off in months)

Mary lost 50 pounds (I just let my gym membership expire)

Nancy landed a new glam job (I’m making minimum wage)

and the real kicker…

Tammy ate at some fab restaurant last night (I heated up McDonald’s left-overs)


It doesn’t take but a few minutes of clicking for us to devalue ourselves, what we have and who we are. Our personal valuation takes a hit every time we compare ourselves against a standard created from a collage of everyone else’s best moments.

I too spent many years basing my personal worth not only on comparisons to others, but on my own works, my physical appearance, abilities I did or didn’t have and the fact that my dad was a successful person and hey, I was his daughter! Needless to say, my personal exchange rate was in constant flux.

It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized I could abandon this constant

“pressure to measure.”

I learned that my value is securely grounded in God’s steadfast, never changing love for me. This value doesn’t wax and wane depending on how much I make, what I do (good or bad) or how I look. He isn’t monitoring me on some celestial Facebook feed to make sure I’m measuring up..

“The LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

There is an almost indescribable sense of freedom that accompanies the realization that my value is firmly rooted in my relationship with a God of grace, compassion and a love so deep that he sent his son to earth to die on my behalf so that my salvation could be secured.

Eternal life in heaven isn’t a reward for perfect people, it’s a gift completely unrelated to any “human performance level.” Sadly, there are many who simply cannot accept the thought that their destiny is not tied to personal effort OR that someone else they may consider a complete loser could share equally in God’s gracious inheritance.

Our value isn’t tied to what I do,

it rests squarely on what He did.

Of course none of this means that I stop trying to become a better version of myself..but my efforts at self-improvement take place within the context and security of my relationship with God who paid the price for every single one of my shortcomings.

That exchange right there is the only one that matters.




photocredit:The Times of Islamabad,Genevieve Magazine,Pinterest




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