The idea of worth has been marinating in my brain. God has been showing me how much He values me; not because I have anything to offer, or because I can bring anything of value to him. In fact the only reason I hold any value is because He paid a high cost for a wretched, tattered, and broken soul that was headed straight for hell without His grace and intervention. The only value my soul holds is the fact that it was redeemed and paid for by the blood of Christ.
I have this mug... I love this mug. It was purchased by a wonderful friend of mine. I don't even use it to drink coffee because I'm terrified it will break. This ceramic stuff holder sits at the center of my shelf as decoration. This mug gets dusted, cleaned, and taken care of. If I can give this mug that kind of attention and care because it was a gift of value, shouldn't I give the same care to those who God redeemed and purchased? How much higher of a value are they?
I've had to ask myself a difficult question these last couple of weeks-"Am I hindering, or helping someones worth?"-
My daily reading has been in Paul's letters. Paul puts a high emphasis on the love between believers. The Word demands that we honor each other. The Word asks us to treat each other with the value of the blood of Christ that purchased them.
I started asking myself how to do that, and I've found there's no right answer. I've found I have to take it moment by moment and ask myself, "Are my actions showing that this persons value is the high cost that Jesus paid on the cross?"
For me an example has looked like this: I love being a missionary. I love what I do. But in all transparency the hardest part is always having people around me. I share a living space with 8 other people, so tasks as simple as going to the bathroom usually come with a knock on the door midway through. Or sitting at my desk to do work or read usually comes with a few interruptions to tell me stories of something that just happened. It's not bothersome, it's not frustrating... It's just life. I used to ignore those things and say "uh-huh" while looking at my computer screen or book, but lately I've had the conviction of saying to myself instead, "What would show the most value to the person in front of me?". Truth is, it's usually the most inconvenient thing. For me it's patiently listening, responding, and hearing more about the story. And then I go on in life, and that person felt heard, invested in, and loved.
What can we do to be a HELP to people's worth in a world that wants to strip it away? I can't give you a direct answer. I can only encourage you to-moment by moment-ask the Lord if you're showing value to the soul in front of you.
When you're at someone's house are you pouring value into them: listening to them, helping them, praying with them, etc... Are you spiritually feeding their worth in Christ? Or are you starving their worth? Looking at the condition of their house, the way they parent that differs from you, feeling good about the amount of dishes in your sink verses theirs?
When you go to church are you showing up right on time to get fed and leaving right away? Or are you showing up for a time of conversation to encourage someone sitting alone? To listen to someone who has maybe had a rough day, week or year? Are you carving out time or making yourself available to invest worth into people?
Are you placing value in people, or are you sitting by as the world we live in and the enemy we fight against strips us of the value we've been given in the blood of Christ?
I personally struggle with my own value. When I'm around someone who seems to have it all together, I almost feel my worth drop in an instant. Take heart! Your worth does not diminish based on the circumstances surrounding you. Your value is unchanging, unmeasurable and assigned to you the moment you accept the blood of Christ as your covering. You are of such a high value only one person in all of eternity could pay the cost. And He did.
I don't care what your house looks like, how your kids behave, whether you served canned ravioli for lunch, or an organic snack box. I don't care if you do your make-up, live in oversized sweaters, have a pile of laundry on the floor, or haven't washed your hair in weeks because you have 2.5 kids and a house to clean. I don't care if you're a democrat, a conservative, a free spirit or a legalist. The value of you is the same as me; the blood of Christ, and I pray that we will recognize that value on everyone the Lord puts in front of us. I pray we'll learn to love each other in the body the way that Christ loved us on the Cross. I pray that we start treating each other better than any of our dearest valued possession. My mug now continues to sit on my shelf but now it serves as a reminder to give others more value than I've given that possession.
Matthew 10:31//Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows