Be Careful Not to Find Your Worth in Hobbies

I grew up pretty insecure.

I was kind of fat in high school and my classmates never hesitated to remind me of that. In fact, it was never the overt harassment or bullying that you see on TV; it was the snide remarks they would make or the snickering they did in my direction. This embarrassment led to my overcompensating my personality and actions. I got into using and eventually selling drugs on the side. I masked my emotions with humor and cynicism. I made it impossible for people to focus on my flaws because I became the center of attention with my crude humor and sarcasm. To this day, I still revert to that for fear that my “friends” will discover the way I truly feel about me.

My mirror is skewed and my self-image is far from what most people probably think about me. In fact, I’d be willing to wager more people are concerned about what others think of them than what they are thinking of others. It’s all insecurity.

As an adult, I masked my insecurity with drinking and parties. I tattooed myself to give off a persona of being a tough guy, so their initial assessment of me was someone not to be messed with. I work out to stay in shape… for others. Not for my own health, because, if left to my own devices, I’d be about 700 lbs.

When I indulge in my hobbies, I think so much of myself and what I have as a measurement of who I am. I bring people down to my man-cave to see all the cool “stuff” I have–to prove my worth. When I spend countless hours online, playing videogames; I measure my worth on by success in-game. When my favorite team loses, I feel like I lose.  This is my identity.

[jumbotron heading=” I measure my worth on by success in-game.”][/jumbotron]

I search high and low to find new things that I may just be good at. My philosophy is that there has to be “something” out there that I am just great at doing, and yet my heart and mind still search. My own father was never good at encouraging me until later in life. He wasn’t around very much anyway, so my search for personal value has always been active–seeking others’ approval, showing off to others that I am the “best” at something…

Meanwhile, I know my Father in Heaven is looking at me, waiting for me to realize that my value is in Him. He came to me, opened His arms, and opened my eyes to the truth. The things I do on Earth, the products I fill my life with, are temporal. They only satisfy for a time until I want something more. God, however, does not operate on the same wavelength.

He tells us that we have value and worth. He made the ultimate sacrifice, Himself, in order for us to be pulled out of the pit and placed into His kingdom. He knows the plans that He has for us–to prosper us, to give us a hope and purpose in this life and the eternal.

You aren’t your collection, your high score, or your comedic talent. You are special because you are God’s. You belong to the family of the creator and no one can take that away from you. Nothing on Earth or in Heaven can separate you from His love and mercy. The feelings you have to do more and more only come because you still hold onto the things that have little significance.

We long to belong until we realize that we have always belonged to God. We are His and He is ours. Our endless pursuits to obtain and shine are only vanity, which is nothingness. Pursue the things above, for the fulfillment of those are everlasting.

Drew Koehler

Founder and writer for Geeks Under Grace. Christian, Husband, Father, Sailor and Geek!

3 Comments

  1. SheraPoP on September 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    For me, my hobbies don’t define self-worth, but they can start to define relationships. It’s easier sometimes to debate the details of a favorite book, game, or movie than to have real conversations that mean something more. I tend to fall back on my fandoms, especially when I’m feeling insecure, instead of going deeper. I have to make myself stop and remember that, while the latest episode of Doctor Who MUST be discussed, there are times when it’s more productive and fulfilling to have a real conversation about what God is doing in my life and in the lives of those around me. Great article!

  2. Victoria Grace Howell on September 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for being vulnerable with us, Drew! Great word!

  3. Casey Covel on September 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Another heart-felt post from Drew. I think this one is so important, but extends far beyond just hobbies. As geeks, we can fall into the trap of measuring ourselves by our speed-runs, KO counts, and high scores, but I think anything that we look to to measure our self worth is a faulty assumption–whether that be our friends, work status, or even position in the church.

    God loves each of us as we are–broken, sinful, and dirty. Of course, once we accept His gift of salvation, He wants us to live in a way that pleases Him, but we are always prone to fall back into sin (and do on a daily basis). The important thing to remember is that God loves us as we are, and that His love for us is all we need to determine our self-worth.

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