Where does our value come from?
If it is from other people, our career, our accomplishments, life’s circumstances and imperfect people — that could leave us in a precarious place of self-pity when those things inevitably fail us.
And if we use those types of “measuring sticks” for ourselves, won’t we be unkind and unfair in how we look at, judge, and place value on others?
Our devotional this morning was about John 4 when Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman at the well — which speaks to not the obvious, surface level topic of racial/societal divisions, but the root issue of “where does my/your value come from”?
I also read a wonderful article on LinkedIn this morning concerning “value”, so this is clearly a topic of note and interest for my life right now.
Dear Daughter: Leave When You Are Not Valued.
I also ws encouraged about this topic by another person’s quote on LinkedIn this morning:
I’m encouraged about my “value” by the Word of God — to me, this is what the Almighty God, creator of everything has to say about me and you and our “worth” or “value”:
You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop. Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day ⌊of my life⌋ was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place. How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O God! How vast in number they are! If I try to count them, there would be more of them than there are grains of sand. When I wake up, I am still with you.
Psalms 139:13-18 GW
Where do you and I find our identity?
How do we identify our value and the value of those around us?
I find so much encouragement in what the Word of God has to teach me about my TRUE IDENTITY, my TRUE VALUE , and of what is true and valuable in all the others that I will come into contact today.
A great reference of scripture/verses on the topic of IDENTITY: https://www.openbible.info/topics/identity
We can escape so many traps if we would just believe what He says about us and about others.
Wouldn’t we be more respectful, kind, gentle, inclusive, and forgiving if we truly believed that our actions towards others were actions towards uniquely called and purposed children of Almighty God?
Wouldn’t we be less “impacted” by our momentary circumstances if our value and identity and “self worth” weren’t so intrinsically tied up into performance, measurements, and the opinions of others?
What if our character, our source — as a Christian I would say “who we are In Christ” – was the source of our assurance, our confidence, and our faith in that truth was unshakable?
I’m reminded of a discussion that dad and I had about the rampant issues of oppression and abuse of children that is clearly a systemic issue within the “clergy” of the Catholic priesthood, acting as wolves feeding upon the little sheep of the “laity” — and how I explained to dad that the root of the issue is in their mistaken understanding of the IDENTITY and VALUE of themselves and of others. Any system that allows one group to see themselves as more valuable than others, gives way to them justifying in their own minds all kinds of oppression and abuse. Having this wrong understanding of the Kingdom of God, and twisting the Word of God into a justification for building up palaces and titles and opulence while preying on the weak and the vulnerable — it is something we too have to be careful that we aren’t falling into. What if I used my own power and position to hire and sexually harass that cute young secretary? What if I helped that person in need just to get recognition? What if I participated in a good cause or charity event just to build a good reputation in the community, but my business practices behind closed doors were to take advantage unfairly of my business and vendors? Hopefully, we can see that all of this stems from not rightly considering and remembering the true identity and value of every child in the eyes of the Heavenly Father.
Oh, Lord, what a gift faith in knowing and believing that our identity, our value, our prepare and calling comes from YOU. We were not just some random occurrence of chaotic and evolutionary development that has no relative value or purpose in the grand scale of existence — such foolish thinking would have people ending their own lives thinking “it is all meaningless and worthless” just because things “didn’t go our way”. And it would have us justifying ways to exclude, even oppress others, based on their life circumstances, performance, or “what they can do for me” or where I see their value “in comparison to me”. Help us to repent from our foolish ways, to see others as you see them, to not only act fairly with each other, but to truly love each other. Amen.