Insignificant means without power or influence. Most of us feel that way sometimes. Some of us feel that way most of the time. I wonder if it is a sin to feel insignificant? After all, Jesus didn’t think we were insignificant. He died so we might live.
Ever taken a personality quiz when you feel insignificant?
I have and it didn’t make me feel better. One result said I was the flavor of vanilla ice cream. But the worst one was when I answered questions to determine which animal I am most like. What was the result?
Disappointed to say the least, I mean penguins don’t even fly and they don’t walk properly either, they waddle! What a loser bird, I want to soar like an eagle. But alas, most of us are penguins, not eagles; mice, not lions; lemmings, not wolves; – you get my drift.
So, the question is: Are we significant?
At first glance, it seems not so much. However there’s one place to go for the answer to every life question: The Bible.
No, we aren’t looking at scriptures that tell us we are daughters of God. We know that, and although we shouldn’t, we still feel insignificant. Instead, let’s examine real women of the Bible with ordinary lives, who struggled, cried, and fell short. They probably felt insignificant, but were they?
Okay, this next statement is a bit of a stretch, but it’s true. Women of the Bible weren’t insignificant. In fact, their voices and choices are impacting us even today!
I know what you’re thinking. Interesting, perhaps. Great for guidance, sure. But impacting our day-to-day lives, I have to say NO to that. After all, these women lived thousands of years ago!
Okay, let’s start in the Pentateuch. You know the first five books of the Bible.
THE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHAD (Numbers 27: 1-11)
Finally, the Israelites were in the promised land and acreage was allotted by tribe. Five Daughters, belonging to the tribe of Manasseh, missed out. Why? Because Zelophehad was deceased and had no son to inherit.
So, the ladies petitioned Moses and stood before the priests and tribal leaders demanding their share of land. Now, understand, this is no small thing for these women to do in their culture. Approaching these leaders was like arguing before the United States Supreme Court when you aren’t an attorney!
Moses took the problem to God and we find that God is no sexist. Through Moses, God declared that the sisters receive a share of land. Great for them, but how does this impact future generations? Well winning this case changed Israel’s inheritance laws not just for these sisters, but for all future generations. Sounds like their lives were significant to me!
Additionally, this law was used to make a point in modern times. The American Bar Association journal in 1924 mentioned this law in an article. Also, the law was used in part to argue a case at the United States Supreme Court in 2014. Talk about voices and choices still speaking generations later.
THEN THERE IS ESTHER! (Esther 4: 10-17)
Through some unusual circumstances this orphaned Jewish girl, who was exiled from Israel to Persia, found herself Queen! When the king ordered all Jews to be killed (he didn’t know Esther was a Jew) she bravely intervened.
Her actions saved the Jews from annihilation. Today, the Jewish people still celebrate Purim, acknowledging her courage and heroism.
OF COURSE, WE CAN’T FORGET MARY (Luke 1: 26-38)
It was quite a shock. Chosen to give birth to the Messiah! Her response is recorded in Luke 1:38.
Mary didn’t argue like some men when given a difficult assignment, e.g., Moses, Gideon, Elijah, and Jonah. Although being the mother of the Messiah was a tremendous honor, it was fraught with earthly trials and great suffering. I don’t think I have to explain further how Mary’s life was significant, nor how her choices impact our lives today.
DORCAS (Acts 9:36-42)
You sense that Dorcas’ home was a welcoming place where women gathered to laugh, encourage, and share with one another. She used her talent as a seamstress to clothe the poor, especially widows. She was known for her good deeds, kind-heart, and charitable acts. Learn more about her on our community page. Doesn’t sound like an insignificant life to me.
So, how does her significant life impact our lives today? Her ministry is still serving others. There are Dorcas’ Societies still actively ministering to the poor.
Like us, did these women think they lived insignificant lives?
In this mix there are sisters with no male protection, an orphan living in exile, a poor Jewish girl, and a seamstress. Like most of us, these women probably lived their lives never giving a thought to their place in history.
There are many other women of the Bible who probably thought they lived insignificant lives, but are still impacting our lives today. However, there isn’t time or space to list them all.
The point is, we don’t have to be a powerful political figure, born into royalty, or an international business mogul to live significant lives and affect future generations. We may live ordinary lives, might say insignificant and boring, but our voices and choices matter, perhaps in the life of someone not yet born or even someone a thousand years from now.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below. You can make prayer requests or remind us about other women whose voices and choices mattered. In other words, they lived lives of significance.
By the way, when I read about penguins, I realized they are actually pretty cool. There was no need to feel insignificant about being a penguin. I put the description of a penguin personality in the comment section below. Oh, and if you want to find out your animal type, click here. It’s a fun quiz. Just don’t let it make you feel insignificant! If you take the quiz share your results in the comment section.