How can we find our value in a bargain basement world? For God’s people, the answer is simple. We can’t. Why? Because the world’s value system and God’s value system are completely different. The world values physical beauty, wealth, success while God values holiness, integrity, honesty, faithfulness and the like. And if we focus on what the world values it often causes us to devalue ourselves. It’s easy to feel we’re not important. Not in the grand scheme of things, anyway. And thus we can feel insignificant.
That’s when we need to redirect our focus from the things of the world to the things of God. When seen in this light, the world offers little. Look at their take on physical beauty. Their standards are so artificial that few can match them. And this has reaped a harvest of suffering. 1% of all American female adolescents have anorexia—that’s 1 out of 100 girls between the ages of 10-25 who are starving themselves; 2 to 3 out of 100 suffer from bulimia; and 20% of all these girls/women will die prematurely from complications related to their disorders. Proverbs 11:22 tells us that “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. While Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
Even worldly success, accomplishments and riches can be meaningless, and often comes with a great price. 41% of 1st marriages end in divorce and, according to the Children’s Defense Fund, there are close to 13 million latchkey children in the US; children who are left unsupervised while their parents work. 1 Corinthians 3:19 tells us that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” When you see the above statistics, it really brings that scripture home.
As Christians we need to be careful that we don’t buy into the world’s value system. God’s word tells us in Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The world wants to conform us, but God wants to transform us. And 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us that our treasure is in earthen vessels, and that treasure is God Himself, His Holy Spirit, who resides in us. Pontius Pilot asked the crowd to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, and the crowd chose Barabbas. The world will always choose its own. And since Christians are not of this world, the world will never value us. And if we apply the world’s standards to ourselves, we won’t value ourselves either. So we must look to God for our worth, and let His criteria determine our value.
And God does indeed value us. Why? Certainly not because of our physical beauty or our abilities, or our wealth or success. But because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Because we have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. Because we are the very temple of God. And He loves us so greatly. And that love is unconditional, intense and everlasting. It will not—never never never be revoked. He tells us this over and over again in scripture. And here’s what the Bible calls us: joint heirs with Christ—Roman 8:17; heirs of promise—Hebrews 6:17; heirs of the kingdom—James 2:5; heirs of salvation—Hebrews 1:14; more than conquerors—Romans 8:37; a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people—1 Peter 2:9. Not only that but God knows the number of hairs on our heads. And before we were born, He called us by name.
What else could we possibly want or need?
As the New Year approaches, let’s move forward in the Lord. Let’s do what the Apostle Paul did in Philippians 3:13-14 “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Let’s begin the New Year by forgetting the mistakes of the past and focus on Jesus. Let’s allow Him to draw us into a deeper love relationship with Him and show us our worth and His great love for us so that we can move into this new season with confidence and soul peace.
Happy New Year. May 2013 be the best, the happiest, the most meaningful year ever!
Until next time,