We live in a world of competition. We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. The danger of this dance is that we decide our personal value and worth largely on how we measure up to those people around us.
There is a better way, a more God-honoring way at looking at ourselves.
We can base our value on what others say or we can base our value on what the One who created us has said and done for us. We can continue to buy the lie that our self-worth is determined by our net-worth or accept the truth of the Divine Blue Book. God’s Word is the ultimate appraisal revealing your true value.
And, what does God say?
Your worth comes not from material wealth but through spiritual poverty.
The world places a higher value on material things: homes, cars, job titles, vacations, stocks, bank accounts, educations. From these things, an order is established. From these things, we begin to think we don’t need anyone or anything else. There is no greater need than to think we have no need.
Material wealth places an emphasis on how much we can get. Spiritual poverty places an emphasis on how much we need. The first seeks to climb up the pecking order to prestige and riches. The latter seeks to descend into the abundance of God’s wealth. The first tries to accumulate more and more of material goods in order to feel secure. The latter understands that only in our emptiness will we receive the resources of God. The first says God helps those who help themselves. The latter says God helps those who realize they need help.
Your worth has little to do with possessions but everything to do with your position with God.
For those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ, we have been given a new name. We don’t have to worry about pecking orders because we are God’s children. The apostle Paul wrote, “You are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Gal. 4:7 NIV). Our spiritual ID card and our adoption papers indicate that we belong to God. The balance in our spiritual checkbook is stamped paid in full.
Your worth is defined by what Jesus paid for your redemption.
The value of an object is determined by how much one is willing to pay for it. Value is in the eye of the beholder. You and I are of such extreme value to God that he went to the great expense of sending his Son to this earth to die for us.
There is no pecking order with God. He loves all people the same. In fact, there is nothing, good or bad, that you can do to cause God to love you any less.
Your worth is affirmed not by appraised value but by applied love.
I’m convinced that all of us are looking for a kind of distinctiveness that we think comes only as we move up the pecking order. We each want to be special. We want to be more than just another homeowner on the block or a cog in the machinery wheel at work. We want others to care about us—personally and individually. We each want to be loved.
God knows that. He made us. That’s why the core of the good news for us has always been, “For God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16 LB). Neither culture nor history nor technology can ever alter this bedrock truth. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. And nothing affirms our worth like the experience of that love.
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