O LORD, You have searched me and known me.2You know when I sit and when I rise; You understand my thoughts from afar.3You search out my path and my lying down; You are aware of all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3
There’s a lot of talk about people’s value these days. There are many that feel they have been undervalued by others in society, and after taking a short history lesson, one can see that our history as humans has been less than stellar.
Dating as far back as 6000 years we hear of warfare, slavery and oppression simply because of a people’s lineage, language or differences in culture or religion. So why do we expect people to change? Don’t the anthropology and sociology pundits in many of our universities claim that man is inherently good, that society is evolving into a more pluralistic society where tolerance is universal and people coexist because there are no absolutes?
The reality of it all is, we see people treating other people as below them or as less valuable all the time. Whether it’s the tone of their skin, their position of power, their level of education or level of income, people will justify treating others poorly for a multitude of reasons.
This phenomenon has been taught in schools for decades. Values clarification scenarios were commonly taught in the 1970’s that posed a situation where someone had to be sacrificed based off their value to society. A common thread was posed where there was 5 people in a life raft with food only enough for 4 people. Who gets left out? Kids would be taught through these scenarios who had lesser value compared to everyone else.
The Bible teaches otherwise.
Jesus taught in Matthew 7:12 “12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” This teaching reflects the command to treat others like you would want to be treated.
Isaiah by the word of the Lord said in chapter 1:16-17; “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.”
This idea of considering others who may be less fortunate than you and likewise standing against oppression is important to God. Why? Because they have value in God’s eyes, we should value them as well.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This famous scripture reminds us of God’s love, how it was expressed by Jesus, that it was for the whole world even though we were sinners, that Jesus still chose to die that we might have life and He calls us to do the same.
I started with Psalm 139 because throughout this chapter, the reflection of God’s love for you begins while you were in the womb in verses 13-16 and continues throughout your life into eternity in verse 24.
Your value to God is inherent. In other words, your value isn’t dependent on any factors that the world deems significant. Your valuable simply because He created you and breathed life into your being and not because of what you look like or what you’ve done. You can’t do good and be more valuable and you can’t do enough bad to decrease your value. Your value doesn’t change.
We can hurt God by our sinful actions or bring pleasure to Him by our faithfulness and obedience but that doesn’t change the measure of love that God has for you.
1 Corinthians 13 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. 6Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
This reality of God’s grace and mercy is what defines people and their value. Unless people have been transformed by the Spirit of God in their lives, their ability to love is limited. Society is ruled by sin and the works of darkness. This is why there is so much hatred. This is why we will never see the world truly treating others how God sees them.
There is hope. For those who have trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Savior:
Revelation 21:1-4 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
This future will be one of peace, love and a society where sin no longer reigns. If you want to see change in this world, trust Jesus with your life then share Him with the world.