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The Search for Significance

October 28, 2010

First, the yearning for significance can be nothing more than ego masked as altruism. As one young writer put it in Relevant magazine, “Based on my work among college students and young professionals, I will venture to say that the drive for significance in many young women today is rooted in the desperation to feel known and to know that our lives count. We’re not just significance addicts, after all. We’re hoping that if we can keep up with the big boys, then we will be truly worthwhile and interesting.”

This is not exactly a Christian virtue, but as the writer, Shirin Taber, suggests, just another form of narcissism.

Second, the search for significance, especially if it requires changing the world, can blind us to the everyday tasks, the mundane duties, and the dirty work that is part and parcel of the life of discipleship. . . .

We should honor any generation that strives for significance, especially if it is a longing to make a difference in the world. Better this than striving to make money and live a comfortable life! But the human heart is desperately wicked and the human soul subject to self-deception, and this colors even our highest aspirations. Even the best of intentions mask the mysterious darkness within, which is why we need to be healed also of our best intentions.

– Mark Galli, Insignificance is Beautiful article in Christianity Today, 10/28/10

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