I did a Google search on the difference between gems (fine jewelry) and costume jewelry. Part of eBay’s definition stated, “The difference between fine jewelry and costume jewelry is the quality of the metal used in the jewelry and the authenticity of the stones set into the pieces.” It goes on to explain some other criteria that I’ll address in another blog post, but for this one, I want to zero in on quality. It is my prayer that you read it with the question, “Am I a gem or costume jewelry?” in mind and be ready to answer it. Are you gold or gold plated? Are you a diamond or glass? Are you platinum or nickel? Think about it and walk with me through this discovery.
For most of my life, I’ve always thrived on the validation of others. If people didn’t like what I did or what I said or where I was going with my life, then I must be headed in the wrong direction. My never ending quest to please people was on! Perfectionism will eat away at your peace; please, believe it. Even though I had the appearance of shininess, I was trapped in a locket of self-doubt, fear, insecurity, and uncertainty of purpose. Knowing that I’m God’s child and that alone makes me qualified to be quality wasn’t an easy revelation to come to. I’m blogging on quality…
***Own Your Value***
God is excellent, and He creates excellence. If He created you, then you are excellent – fearfully and wonderfully made! Your life is a hot commodity, not to be taken lightly because blood was shed for it. When my pastor talked about this in the message, it was an “aha” moment for me. Of course, I know Jesus died on the cross for my sins but I never equated that to my value. More on value as it relates to gems vs costume jewelry…
Costume jewelry puts on a shine fest for others but the moment those others don’t respond to their fluorescence, they’re ready to run and quit. Costume jewelry allows others to use them until every bit of energy you have is gone and they still want more because you feel if you have the “backing” of someone you put on a pedestal, then you’ve arrived. Costume jewelry has no value. Remember, God creates excellence, and if we were made in His image, then costume jewelry we are NOT!
We have something to offer this world whether it be through our careers, daily walk, businesses, organizations, campaigns, and causes. What we have can only be delivered through us. That’s important my friends! So what if there’s another car salesman who sells hundreds of cars. So what if the teacher next door is national board certified. So what
if there’s another photographer within the same area you work in. The way you sell a car, teach students and take pictures is the way YOU do it, and it’s valuable to somebody. You own your value.
In the world of business, don’t allow people to diminish your value by trying to get something for nothing. If you want to perform services out of the kindness of your heart, then that’s your choice, but no one should expect, obligate or guilt you into doing free work. It’s amazing to me how some folk sing your praises until there’s a fee for your services. The song hits a flat note and the chords aren’t in perfect harmony. All of sudden, your stellar work is just ok. Now, they wanna see who else can do the same thing. In these instances, that costume jewelry mindset will try to rear its head. Doubt will set in. Thoughts of, “Maybe, I’m not good enough to make a business out of this. What was I thinking? No one will want what I have to offer.” This negative self-talk will turn the gem you started out as into costume jewelry really fast. Sometimes your closest friends and even family won’t see the value of what you do because it’s you, but don’t take it personally. They may not be your target market, and sometimes they eventfully come around. Their value meter of you doesn’t negate the value meter you have for yourself. Don’t waiver in owning your entrepreneurial or career choice worth. The right people will see it and run to write that check or get you to the people who are ready to move forward with you on their team.
From a personal standpoint, life is something. You’re going along, minding your own business, not bothering a soul, and then just like a pounding headache, pain and anguish come to visit you – completely unannounced and uninvited. Life’s circumstances will make you feel like costume jewelry – worthless, thrown around, popped, if lost no one cares kind of stuff. I don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe you’re dealing with sickness, relationships issues, being passed over for career opportunities, past hurts, abuse, guilt, depression or any other situation that eats away at your self-worth. I’ve been there. Some days, I AM there, but what I know is that I’m worth it every day God gives me life, it’s worth living. That’s it – period. I know my purpose and I’m not going to let “they” or “me” detour me. On the days, I don’t believe it, I pray and keep saying it. Ephesians 2:10 says I am His workmanship…GOD’S workmanship. I’m not worthless and unwanted. I’m GOD’S workmanship, and as stated previously, He creates excellence!
Real gold and silver will tarnish a little over time, but it doesn’t make them any less real. It doesn’t lessen their quality. All you do is clean it, and it’s good as the day you purchased it. When it’s fake, you have to be careful because the metal-like substance can rub off altogether leaving you with something that you don’t want to wear or present to anyone. Are you following me here? Even though you may get dealt a bad hand over time, you are still just as valuable as pure gold or silver. You’re more valuable and of greater quality. You may feel tarnished and worn, but a “clean” with a new perspective, positive thoughts, fresh ideas, and strategies. “Clean” with people who love you and truly have your back. “Clean” with the love of God and stand on His promise. “Clean” knowing that under all the “tarnish” there’s still a valuable being. Be blessed…
YOU ARE NOT COSTUME JEWELRY! Wear it; don’t be it.