While deleting junk mail this week, I came across this subject:
Now clearly the email meant financial worth, but I believe our thoughts go to that place regardless. When I’m confronted with my worth, my mind instantly begins to list things of value, things that physically show my life means something. I think of my house, car, and bank account first. But is that normal? I think so. From a young age, we are conditioned to look at worth through financial lenses. We’re told to get a job, taught the value of the dollar and how to save. Most students are pushed toward careers because of the potential for higher wages. There are entire industries built around managing and increasing your financial worth. You can google any celebrity’s “worth” and a dollar amount will come up by their name.
But is this really the best way to calculate your worth?
Society tells us our value is found in many things. It’s found in our appearance, what we have, what we can accomplish, how well we perform, how many people know us, like us, idolize us. It may be found in our family, our house, or how pretty and perfect our life can look from a distance. Our worth is found in how much we contribute to society, what social views we believe in, or how much we help others. But where can we turn to find a true assessment of our worth? Do we look inward, trying to assign worth to ourselves? Do we weigh what others think, and how they value us? Is there any human source that would give us an accurate value?
Short answer: No. But in case you’d like more proof, here’s a bit. The Nazi regime and holocaust is a pretty glaring example of humanity’s ability to judge worth. The rampant racism towards African Americans as demonstrated by groups like the KKK from the 1800s on will forever be a symbol of the worst of mankind. The United States and other heavily diverse countries continue to air headlines of racial strife. And we are currently in the midst of a fight over the value of babies, both in and out of the womb. Clearly, we as humans struggle with the idea of worth.
But there is one who is fit to judge. James 4:12 says, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy.” God’s judgement is “based on truth” Paul tells us in Romans 2. The problem with you and I deducing our worth is that we don’t have the fullest grasp on reality. So we look to the One who knows and sees all, the One who’s understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5).
So then, what does the Lord say?
What are we worth to Him?
God has only ever paid one price for His people. He has only ever given us one metric by which to measure what He thinks of us: Himself (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-9 . So how do we measure that? Let’s think about it for a second. I know we often use big descriptive language to talk about God, but let’s really consider this for a moment. There is a being who imagined stars, supernovae, galaxies, planets, moons, black holes, who fashioned the earth and established life there. He dreamed the Great Barrier Reef, the Northern Lights, the Alps, and then spoke them into existence. He crafted the human body, in all its various functions and microscopic parts. But there wasn’t just design. God sees into the future to craft each jewel of His creation (Jeremiah 1:5). He makes plans and purpose for events and individuals before they exist. Isaiah tells us in 40:28 that God does not tire. His understanding is unsearchable! He is just and perfect. He is the bar for righteousness, truth, love, excellence. I love what Job says, that we see only the outskirts of His ways, and we only hear a whisper of Him (Job 26:14). The psalmist hits the nail on the head in Psalm 8.
Like I said above, God has only ever given us one metric by which to measure His thoughts toward us. He gave Himself. God the Son stepped down from His place of glory to fix our relationship with the Father. So then, if God is vast, and God gave God as payment for us, then it’s accurate to say that our value to God(hence our real value) is vast.
I like to think I am a pretty sacrificial person. But let’s get real here. I wouldn’t give my life for just anyone. I would give my life in a heartbeat for those I love dearly. For most others, I would probably risk my life if a situation arose where they needed saving. But life for life, for someone who turned their back on me… I’d be lying if I said I thought I would give myself up. And I’m certainly more deserving of death than God. I’m not as important. I’m not perfect or blameless by any means. I’m not resting in a place of glory and authority. So I have very little to give up comparatively. But Christ did. And God gave Him still. What a love! What a price to pay! What a statement to make.
The sad part is that many of us still feel like God only tolerates us… like He’s the busy parent who puts up with our mistakes and behavior. If you do well, you’re more acceptable. If you don’t, you’re less acceptable. And that may be the God we’ve heard preached at times in our life. But it’s not the God we see in the Bible.
The value the God in scripture places on you is much greater! His love, unlike the love we experience from man, is perfect. In an analogy for prayer, Jesus says… look how much a normal loving father loves His children. He wouldn’t give him a snake instead of a fish or a rock instead of bread… And he’s wicked! How much more loving is God toward His children (Luke 11:11-13). We are delighted in. We are pursued by God. We are so valuable in His eyes that He gave himself to restore us to Him. And hear me, as you begin to trust that, to better understand that, as you lean into God’s delight in you, that will drive you towards Him. And that’s where sin starts to lose it’s power, where trials are made small, where life is made full (Colossians 3). So let us seek that understanding together.