EVERY PERSON HAS VALUE - WEEK 1
Updated: Feb 13
This is an important topic to me because of my history. Due to not fitting in while growing up and an 18-year abusive relationship, I used to feel that I had no value except for what I could do for others and was constantly trying to prove I had value, trying to earn that value.
Unfortunately, a lot of people out there are caught in this same trap-trying to prove they have value and living in constant terror that they will fail and they will lose the people in their lives, or even be hated. I was always afraid that failing to please everyone around me would reveal that I had no value, that I was not worthy of love or even friendship. I always felt like a fraud.
I learned though, that not only is that a miserable way to live, it is an unscriptural way to live. God never meant us to live that way. To God, every single person has intrinsic value simply because they exist, because they were born. This is the opposite of what the world tells us every day.
The world continuously forces us to prove our value. The world keeps telling us we are all too fat or too skinny or too under-employed or too poor or not giving enough. Just look at social media - even the rich and famous are never good enough. They go outside without their make up done and the magazines crow about how you’re on drugs or have lost it or...whatever. The world glories in telling people that they have no value, that they are worthless and don’t measure up to some random scale.
No wonder anxiety and depression and suicide are running rampant.
And it’s NOT supposed to be this way.
God loves each of us, we matter to Him, each and every one of us because He designed us. I don’t mean that in the general way of God created humankind. I mean that in a very personal way. God designed every human ever born individually.
Jermiah 1:5, God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Ephesians 2:10 gets even more specific: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So, God created each one of us individually with a specific plan for us. We can choose to follow the plan or not but that doesn’t change the fact that God designed us individually and with specific talents and weaknesses and with a plan for our lives.
Need even more proof that God and Jesus values even the most worthless of us? Just keep reading.
When Jesus was hung on the cross, He was placed between two men who were actual criminals. One criminal joined with the crowd in making fun of Him. The other, well he’s one I want to discuss.
The second criminal admitted he deserved to be there. “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.” (Luke 23:41). He was going to be dead within 24 hours. By the world’s standards, he was worthless.
But, even in this hopeless situation that he knew he deserved, he called out for help, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42).
Now, please, stop and think about this situation, this timing.
Jesus is in the middle of agony. Physical, emotional and spiritual agony.
Jesus was dying. He had been beaten bloody. He had been flogged meaning he had been whipped, leaving open wounds on his body. He had not been given anything to eat or drink for probably over 12 hours. He had thorns shoved into his head and everyone in his life had run away. He was deserted and dying. He had nails in his ankles and his wrists.
He was dying in one of the most painfully brutal manners. In crucifixion, you die of suffocation, not blood loss. In the crucifixion position, you can’t breath. You have to pull yourself up to get a decent breath...think about that...you have to pull yourself up by using the nails in your wrists and ankles...just to breathe. You die when you no longer have the strength to pull up on these nails and get a breath.
More than that, Jesus was carrying all the sins of the world from the beginning of time to the end of time. Every murder, every rape, every lie, every piece of gossip, all of it was heaped on him and it was heaped so deeply that He even suffered something no other being in existence has ever suffered. God turned away from Him. Jesus was God’s son. He knew the feeling of God’s presence better than anyone. When we say God has turned away, we’re describing an emotion, a false belief because God doesn’t turn away from us. But, Jesus didn’t just feel like God wasn’t there, He was God’s Son but on the cross, when the sun turned dark, He called out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” (Mark 15:34)
And in the middle of all this pain and suffering, some guy, some random criminal who will die within the next day, calls out for grace, for help.
Remember, this guy admitted he deserved this painful death. He had wasted his life. He was never going to make it better. He wasn’t going to be able to pay back any grace by preaching sermons, going on missions, earning money to be contributed. All this guy had to offer was less than a day of life. Could there be anyone more worthless? Would we have blamed Christ if He had ignored this plea?
And yet...even in His agony, even with every reason in the world to ignore this plea...Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
He not only answered, He comforted and He gave grace, freely.
If this is not proof that God and Jesus values every human being for the simple fact that he or she exists on this planet...I don’t know what is.
But I will leave you with one more piece of proof.
Wonder why God hasn’t ended the world yet? He answers that: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
Notice that phrase: No wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, God says you have enough value that He sent Jesus to die for you and Jesus willingly suffered the cross and everything that went along with it for you because you exist, because you are His creation.