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Your Work Does Not Prove Your Worth

Daily I receive an inspirational/educational email from Reverend Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California; also author of Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church…two great reads. One of the things I love about Rev. Rick’s emails is that they are ALL related to real life issues, things we face every day. Related, I believe that we as Catholics can learn much from our non-Catholic Christian Brothers and Sisters while maintaining our Catholic orthodoxy. Rev. Rick is a good example of that. You can get information at https://pastorrick.com


His January 16th email was titled, Your Work Does Not Prove Your Worth. It’s repeated below in its entirety…because it’s that good. And very consistent with my message. You can also find it here.


Photo by Vlada Karpovich

When you find yourself stuck in a cycle of overworking, you need to remember your value to God.

This is the exact opposite of basing your worth on your work, your career, or your full-time role. It is countercultural and may require a major change in your thinking, especially if a little voice in your head keeps saying, “You’ve got to prove you matter.”

One of the reasons people can’t relax is that they confuse their work and their worth. They confuse their net worth with their self-worth. They think, “If I work really hard and succeed at work, then I am valuable. If I’m not productive, then I’m not valuable.” That’s a lie! But in Western culture, our identity often revolves around our work, so we overwork in an attempt to prove ourselves. We believe that if we achieve a lot, then we must be worth a lot.

But your significance has nothing to do with your job, your career, or your achievements.

You don’t have to prove your worth. God says that you are already extremely valuable. You’ll never be more valuable to God than you are right now; you’ll never be less valuable to God than you are right now.

How valuable are you? Your heavenly Father created you; Jesus died for you. And if you are a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you.

God doesn’t create anything without purpose or intention. The fact that you’re alive means God loves you and wants you alive. You’re priceless. You’re a masterpiece.

It’s not what you do that gives you worth but who you belong to.

Did you know that God has a tattoo of you? Isaiah 49:15-16 says, “Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm”. 

Are you perfect? Absolutely not. Are you broken? Yes. Are you a sinner? Yes. But are you of infinite value? Yes! And you are deeply loved by God.

He already proved your worth on the cross.


Loved the above from Rev. Rick, which is why I’m posting it…very succinct. We all need to remind ourselves of these things. Hope this helped. 

As always, please email me at [email protected] with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

The Beauty of Life

Is there anything in your life that exudes pure beauty? No matter how many times you see it, it takes your breath away. It is so beautiful that you can’t look away, but instead are mesmerized by it. You are in awe of its creation, believing that something much greater than humanity has to be responsible. You are reminded of God’s great glory, given that it can only be He who can produce something so magnificent.

Most Beautiful Place on Earth

For my wife and me, one of those things, those places is Sedona, Arizona, home of the most beautiful landscape we’ve ever experienced. Known as Red Rock Country, it is the most majestic of places. No matter the direction you turn, there are enormous, gorgeous red rock formations that God gifted this part of the country with thousands of years ago.

In going to Sedona for the past 13 years, we are always captivated by what we see. We can be driving down the same road we’ve been on dozens of times and see a huge rock formation in a totally different way. It’s truly amazing. Add to that the many notables, including Coffee Pot Rock, Bell Rock, Chair Rock, Elephant Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Rock, and more.

From left to right: Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Rock, Elephant Rock, and Coffee Pot Rock.

Lastly, there’s the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was built into the red rocks of Sedona in 1956. In March, 2018, a new Corpus was added. The Chapel is beautiful inside and out.

We Are Incredibly Unique Too

Another example of God’s grand work and imagination is humanity, you and me, all of us, each made so uniquely and special. Out of the 7 billion people on earth, no 2 of us are made the same. We all have very individual gifts and talents, put on this earth for a particular purpose.

You were made for Greatness…check Scripture (Jeremiah 1:5 or 29:11). Here’s the truth:

    • God conceived of us thousands of years ago
    • He made each of us in His image and likeness
    • As part of His grand plan, individually and as a part of all of humanity
    • Made each of us with special gifts, talents, desires
    • He made us for a specific purpose
    • God doesn’t make mistakes; He doesn’t make junk
    • On a scale of 1-10, we are all 10s
    • He loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done
    • God wants the very best for you
    • He wants you to be happy
    • God made you for Greatness

God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. He loves you more than the Red Rocks. He loves you for your “who”, not your “do. God made you; He loves you and wants you to live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. What are you waiting for?

Please comment to me at [email protected].com.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

What’s Next in Life? 

I’m now almost 60, entering what seems like a different season of life. Life you, I’ve experienced many seasons in the past, each with their joys and their challenges. Although not always the case, a different season sometimes means a different direction. And sometimes a tweak to a current direction. 

Attending Mass recently, I saw an old friend, a Deacon who is quite busy doing ministry having retired from his full-time professional life. When he asked me if I had considered the same, it got me thinking. I retired from the professional world 10 years ago, when I started work for Franciscan University of Steubenville. As Vice President of Outreach and Evangelization, I can’t imagine leaving for at least another 10 years. Not that there aren’t challenges…there are a lot, especially coming out of COVID. But I’m invested in the mission, love the University, and continue to be desirous of doing ministry. I feel that I’m where God wants me to be. 

Related to the above and on a personal basis as well, I continue to be passionate about sharing the love of Christ, that gift of encounter that changed my life forever. That’s why I continue to do these blogs and the occasional talk, sharing my story and the lessons I’ve learned…all real-life stuff to help people no longer be overwhelmed, instead leading lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

© Steubenville Conferences, Franciscan University of Steubenville 2022

With the Steubenville Conference Office being part of my organization, my summers are very busy. Easily bored, I’d spend weekend time other times of the year on ministry stuff, some University related and other for my personal ministry. Still being passionate about it all, something is changing. Not my focus…I still want to work for the Church and do ministry, but the intensity. I don’t want to run as hard as I used to. I love my wife, who is my best friend…and I want to be spending more time with her, sometimes just hanging out, while at other times doing the things we enjoy doing. We kid around that we’re all we got…Thank God!!!

BTW, as I’ve indicated before….you don’t have to be in ministry to do ministry. In fact, I believe most often more can be accomplished outside the Church than from within. EVERYONE, whether they know it or not, deeply yearns for the love of Christ. You, me….we can do that everywhere.

So what’s the point to the above, other than being a stream of consciousness in my life. First, as I reflect, including on the more challenging parts of my life, I live in this place of gratitude for all the seasons of my life. I’ve been blessed abundantly in many ways. And even in the tough times, I firmly believe that all is per God’s grand plan for my life, helping me to be my very best. “No pain, no gain…no Cross, no crown”. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be who I am or doing what I do…without all those experiences. Praise God!!!

Second is “surrender”. For the longest time, I thought it was “Mark’s will be done”. I had it wrong. Today I endeavor to live “God’s Will be done”. I recently read an ebook by Bishop Barron on discernment. He points to several things, including prayer, reading Scripture, and participating in the Sacraments, all to help us understand God’s Will for our lives. He states that what God wants for you and me is the path of greatest love. Love as per the Catechism is willing the good of another. The Bishop poses some questions for each of us:

  • What makes love more prominent in your life? 
  • What makes it easier in your life to love? 
  • What path will open the greatest capacity for love? 
  • What’s the demand of love in the present moment? 
  • What is the path of greatest love?

Your answers to the above, according to the Bishop, are what God wants you to do. With this as guidance, how do I take my life and discern where specifically God wants me, what He wants me to do? For me, not necessarily changing the big things, but the holy moments in life. How about you? How can you apply this to your life?

Whether it’s a new season or mid-season, an attitude of gratitude is a great thing. And my lived experience is that following God’s Will is the only path to peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

As always, feel free to contact me at [email protected] with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

We’ve all heard before, “Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner”. Is that how you handle conflict? Or do you, like me, fail to abide by that practice?
 
I remember living through my first wife’s addiction, confessing to my therapist how upset I was with her. Given the family dysfunction related to addiction, the disease was killing her and it was killing me, emotionally and physically (stress, weight loss, headaches). Gratified to hear that my feelings were normal didn’t mean that they were acceptable. Having heard the above expression previously, it was the first time I really began to understand “hate the sin, not the sinner”.    

In Scripture we read…“do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Another Scripture verse that speaks to this issue is where Peter asks how often he is to forgive. Jesus responds to him in Matthew 18:22, “I do not say to you even seven times, but even seventy times seven times”.

All of these verses speak to “hate the sin, not the sinner”. As I’ve learned, one of the tricks is to not assume malice. Most often, when someone does something that upsets you, they’ve not done it to intentionally hurt you. It helps to have an attitude of understanding, believing that the other person wasn’t intentionally wanting to harm you, then working to resolve the matter. BTW, all of this is easier said than done. It really takes practice.

My experience would indicate that there’s another factor in all of this, that is the complicity that we may have in the conflict. How have our actions added to the dilemma? What role have we played? How does how we feel about ourselves contribute to the reaction we’ve had? All questions I’ve had to ask myself as I mature in life and in my faith.

Let’s consider a more global issue, i.e. abortion. As Christians, I’m hopeful that we can all agree that it is an intrinsic evil, as identified by the teachings of the Church and documented by the Unite States Conference of Catholic Bishops. After 49 years, Roe v. Wade was finally overturned by the Supreme Court, an answer to many prayers by many people for many years.

With the above, we’ve seen some real ugliness, whether it be personal attacks, protesting that turns violent, pro-life facilities being vandalized, and threats being made.

As Christians, we need to abide by Matthew 7:12 and 18:22, as well as Mark 12:31. We need to recognize that ALL OF US are beloved children of God. We’re also all sinners, each and every one of us. Another verse I’m reminded of here is when Jesus says, “how can you see the splinter in your brother’s eye and not see the board in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).

It may be easy to hate the protesters sited above. I get it and I’m guilty of it. Their actions are reprehensible. But that’s not what Jesus calls us to do. And the reality is that hating them isn’t going to change them, nor our world.

I’d encourage all of us to try very hard to “hate the sin, not the sinner”. It’s the only way we’re going to change hearts and change our world. I’d also suggest that we examine our role in all things. And always, for guidance and as our greatest example, go to Jesus.

As always, please contact me at [email protected] with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

Always remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph