Defined By The Numbers


I don’t have a scale here in Guatemala.
And that is probably a good thing since I can get very, very tied to the number on it.
When it is up, I am down.
When it is down, I am up.
That number has way too much power in defining my sense of worth.
A lower number means I am more valuable.
A higher number means I am less valuable.
A lower number means I am pretty.
A higher number means I am not.
A lower number means I am lovable.
A higher number means I am not.

So, since I moved here last August, I have not had a scale.
Instead, I have been simply been eating well and exercising.
And it has been wonderful.

But then I put a pedometer app on my phone to hold me accountable during these sedentary days.
And it asked for my weight.
So I put in my best guess.
But I was curious, so I got on the scale in the weight room here at school.
And it said that I was 60 pounds lighter than my best guess!
Which, of course, means that scale is broken!
But the jolt of joy it brought my heart was telling.
I knew it wasn’t factual.
But, for a moment, it made my day.

Then I borrowed a scale from a friend because I was even more curious.
And her scale says I am 17 pounds heavier than my best guess!
And my emotions plummeted.
Suddenly I felt much, much heavier and less healthy than I had moments before.
But more than that, I felt way less worthy of love.

But we all do it.
It may not be the number on the scale for you.
It may be the number in your waistband.
Or the number of zeroes in front of the decimal place in your bank account.
It may be the number of children you have.
Or the number of years you have been (or not been) married.
It may be your house number, in the right neighborhood.
Or it may be the number of friends you have on social media.

We all do it.
We all define ourselves by numbers.
And when those numbers are “right”, we are happy.
When they are “wrong”, we are devastated.
Or at least discontented.

But here is what I have learned – and am learning – about numbers of all kinds.
They don’t matter.
In the grand scheme of eternity, they Do. Not. Matter.

My life on earth is so very, very brief compared to eternity.
I MIGHT have 100 years of heartbeats in me.
But when this heart stops beating, real life will have just begun.
And these earthly numbers that we use to measure success, value, and worth will vanish.

When I see Him face to face for the very first time, God will not look at me and say, “How much did you weigh, Kathy?”
He will hold me accountable for how I treated this temple of the Holy Spirit that He gave me as a tool to use for my time on earth.
He will not measure my worth by it.

God will not look at me and say, “What’s your net worth, Kathy?”
He will hold me accountable for how I used the monetary tools he entrusted to me.
But He will not measure my worth by them.

God will not look at me and say, “Where’s your husband and kids, Kathy?”
He will not measure my worth that way, either.

He will not ask me about the number in my waistband or on the door of my house.
He will not ask me about how many Facebook friends I had or how many people followed my blog.
He will not even ask me how many good deeds I did to outweigh the bad.
How many times I went to church.
How often I prayed.
How many times I read through the Bible.
Or how much I put in the offering.
He will not find me worthy of heaven through any of these measures.

He will ask me about ONE thing.
“What did you do with My Son?
Did you accept that He died for you, in your place, because you are a sinner?”
And because my answer is “Yes, I did”, He will allow me into heaven.

My value to Him is not based on a number.
It is not based on what I do or do not do.
It is not based on what I look like or what I have.
Or any of my successes or failures in this life.

It is solely based on His heart for me.
He loves me.
Regardless of my stats, He loves me.
Before I was born, He loved me.
When the scale was much higher, He loved me.
When it has been much lower, He loved me.
When I share my faith and share my wealth and share His Word, He loves me.
And when hoard my faith and hoard my wealth and hoard His Word, He loves me.

With or without kids
Fiscally sound
Flat broke
Tons of friends
All alone
Popular and wanted
Socially outcast and alone
Spending time wisely
Wasting time completely

No matter what.
No matter where.
No matter who or when or why or how.

No matter the numbers.
No matter the scale.
No matter how others define me or how I define myself.
He. Loves. Me.

And He offers this same love to all!
To everyone who will receive Him.

And because He loves me so,
because He gave everything for me,
because He is so good,
I want to please Him.
I want to make wise choices.
Take care of all He has entrusted to me.
And share Him with everyone I meet.

But will that make Him love me more?
As one songwriter says, “He cannot love me more and He WILL NOT love me less.”

So here is the only number I will use to define myself:


There is one God.
Who loves me like I am the only one He ever made.
Who sent His one Son to die in my place.
So I will give Him this one life that I have.
And I will choose to keep Him in first place, number one in all I do. Say. Am. Have.
Because He is the only One worthy.

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