We can “Photoshop” inches (or centimeters) off our stomach and years off of our faces. We can add muscles, facial hair and fine tune ourselves to look exactly the way we want others to see us. How many pictures do you take before you’re satisfied? How much editing do you do. No matter how many pics we take, or how many edits we do…each picture is still us.

We live in an age of selfies, live videos and profile pictures. Everyone wants to look their best. Even if people don’t alter their appearance through plastic surgery, they alter their photos with applications and software to digitally alter our images. Hence, comes the term “Photoshop”, that because the software is so well known, it has become the term used for altering ‘images’ much like ‘Google’, ‘Frisbee’, ‘Klennex’ and ‘Styrofoam have all becomeeponyms extending to other brands and uses.

But, those closest to us and God know how we really look.

The same holds true for our souls. People can be one person at home, another while at work and yet another at church, if they go.

No matter who we try to make people think we are, God knows who we really are…

1 Samuel 16:7  (NKJV)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have [a]refused him. For[b] the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

If you ever catch yourself trying to give a false image of yourself, remember…


God always sees you as you are.



I think we all want to be valued as a person. In our families…In our relationships…In our professional life…In our spiritual life…We all want to be valued.

We make room for what and who brings value to our lives. No one, and I mean no one avoids anyone who brings value to their lives. And, the greatest value is in the intangible things that money can’t buy. I like to call them intangible tangibles. You can’t see them, but they are so real.

But, I’m not going to talk about the typical intagibles that commonly first come to mind…you know love, joy etc. etc.

I’m talking about 3 intangibles that when you possess these abilities, people will always value you. And they all spring from a spiritual gift…exhortation!

Romans 12:6-8 (NKJV)

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who EXHORTS, in EXHORTATION; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

A good strong exhortation encourages and strengthens.

People with these attributes can even tend to be ‘used’, but no one uses anyone that they don’t value.

You will always be valued if you can ENCOURAGE, INSPIRE AND ENTERTAIN…


Everyone needs encouragement. The fact is, that not only do we need encouragement when we are down, but we also need encouragement when we are up. Think of the people in your life who are encouraging to you. Most of the time it’s the same person or people with whom you seek out to share both your good and bad news. It’s the one with whom you want to share your good days, and the one you know you can depend on to help you want to go on during your bad days. Now think of the people who you can depend on to discourage you. Who do you value more in your life?


Who inspires you? What inspires you? Who makes you want to be a better person? Who makes you want to pursue your purpose? Who makes you want to accomplish the impossible? Is it a family member? Is it a former teacher?  Is it a great leader? Is it someone that you have seen endure incredible odds? Is it someone who came from what we call ‘nothing’ to achieve greatness? That’s why we love heroes because they inspire us. Inspiration is so powerful that even evil people are inspired by other evil people. When you inspire people, they will want to be around you on their best day and worst day.


Even though we aren’t all entertained in the same way, everyone loves to be entertained. In this harsh world, we all need temporary breaks from reality to refresh ourselves.  Everyone loves being around someone who entertains them. It may be someone who always has an interesting story. It may be a gifted musician, singer, poet, artist or author. It may be someone who is very engaging to talk to…it may be someone who always makes us laugh and smile. I believe that comedy is an aspect of the gift of exhortation…what’s more encouraging than a good laugh? (Read this…ARE YOU A MINISTER OF LAUGHTER?

Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV)

22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,[a]
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Think about how David found favor with Saul because he was a skilled musician…

1 Samuel 16:23 (NKJV)

23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

Everyone love being around someone who makes them laugh. Someone who makes them feel better. Nothing lifts one out of despair like a well-timed laugh. If you have the ability to entertain…sing, dance, speak, act, are you athletic…whatever makes the heart feel lighter…whatever helps us escape from reality, you will be valued.

These gifts are to be used to be a blessing to one another and bring glory to the God of our salvation.

So, how has God blessed you to encourage, inspire or entertain? Know your gifts because that’s where others will find your value.


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