Do You Know How Valuable You Are?

Last summer I was called up for jury duty.  I was in the pool of potential jurors, and had to listen to the three days of proceedings as the jury was selected.  The trial was going to be a civil lawsuit about medical malpractice, and a question that was posed to each of the jurors was “Can you put a monetary number on the value of a human life?”  Most people stammered mumbled answers in the negative, but of course, that didn’t stop lawyers from coming up with a tidy nine figure number for compensation.

What is my value as a human being?  If I have value, what is it?  For most of us, that nagging question hangs in uncertainty for a lot of our lives.  We want to be valuable…we want acceptance and a sense of belonging.  We intrinsically know we aren’t complete in and of ourselves; we even coin phrases like “no man is an island” to emphasize our need.

Sadly, for many of us, our chief attempt to find affirmation and value comes through our attempt to gain acceptance and approval from our peers.  This, in the immortal words of Admiral Akbar, is a trap!

In our study this Sunday, we’ll read Luke 12:1-12 .  Jesus warns his disciples about hypocrisy and the desire to please our fellow human beings over a desire to please God.

According to this passage, what is the central danger of hypocrisy (projecting a false persona)?  Why do people do that, and what does it say about where they derive their sense of self-worth?

Whose opinion is most important, according to this passage, and why?  In v4, Jesus calls the disciples something he hasn’t called them before in this gospel. coupling that with v 6-7, where should we derive our sense of value and self- worth?

Do you believe you are valuable to God?  If you do, what response does that inspire in you?  For all of it’s references to things like fear and hell…I found this passage to be hugely encouraging.  I hope you will too!

 

6 comments

  1. Man, it seems like this topic is appearing everywhere I look lately.

    Hypocrisy can stem from a lot of things. It may be that someone is ashamed of the things they do, so they put on a facade of a “good Christian” to avoid the judgments of the other Christians. But on the other hand, if harsh judgment IS being thrown on them, those “other Christians” they are so desperately hiding from are equally hypocritical. One is suffering from the hypocrisy that stems from self-deprication; the other is suffering from the hypocrisy of self-righteousness.

    But often times, there is a form of hypocrisy that is overlooked. Although many don’t even pass it off as hypocrisy, I feel it may be the most common form. It grows in our lives not because of a desire to hide what we DID do, but what we DIDN’T do.

    As fallen humans, we all tend to throw judgments around like a football at people we don’t even know . When that judgment is thrown at us, we feel misunderstood by everyone around us; we feel wrongly viewed by others and often just conform to what is expected of us to get people off our backs. Even if it means acting like someone we aren’t.

    But as humans, something we all tend to forget is that we are ALL screw-ups. So we tend to hide behind a mask in order to feel valued or respected. But the thing is, we are measuring our value in society’s (or even the church’s) standards.

    But why should those standards matter? God knows the number of hairs on our head. He knows what is whispered in the silence. God knows our heart. If He will reveal all truths that are hidden or covered up, why should we pretend to be someone we aren’t? Our true self will be made evident in His time. To act like someone other than yourself is not only refusing to trust in His timing, but it is like telling God, “yeah, I know you died for ME..but apparently ME isn’t enough.” It spits in the face of everything His son did for us.

    Psalm 18:19 says “He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

    He delights in ME, not who the world wants me to be. If God, the creator of the world, delights in me…shouldn’t that be enough?

  2. I think I struggle with my sense of self-worth more on a professional level than anything. In my mind I am as smart and talented as anyone I work with, but because of my job title I am not as well respected. Sometimes I feel that even if I do a good job it doesn’t get recognized by either my bosses, peers, or the people we work for. I get frustrated with myself because I know that from a Christian perspective I should not find my worth or value in what other people think of me but rather how God sees me. Despite knowing this, I somehow can’t seem to shake that desire to be recognized and respected. I suppose, in a way, this is just as pharisaical as someone wanting people to think they are super spiritual, because it all goes back to who we are trying to impress. If its not God then our hearts are probably not in the right place.

    Why should I derive my sense of self-worth from those I work with or work for when most of them don’t even know Christ? It seems that they would not be good judges of the value of a human being anyway, right? I guess Admiral Akbar was a wise old sage after all. Who knew?

  3. I came to Christ late in life. I have always been a people pleaser,looking for recognition and approval from parents, peers employers etc. Ibelieve its in our nature. So developing a false persona comes easily for us humans. It is a “trap”! I know im valuable to God, Ibeleive in my heart im valuable. But its easy to get ambushed daily! Hypocracy is under every rock. Inherently we have to know this. We need to come to God daily, thats why prayer is so important to us. Sometime its coming to Him minute by minute! Looking to God first, i love that. To not have to look for approval from others is so refreshing. God does hold our “body and soul”. Hey and to be” worth more than a million canaries” in His eyes how awesome!

  4. I really like what Courtney has to say.

    I began to view myself (rather than all the rest of you) and remembered all the places I took my Lord after I had accepted Him as my savior. You know all those places we tell ourselves we are going alone, but know in our hearts that isn’t true.

    Finally I looked up hypocrite in the ol’ Funk and Wagnel and to my surprise there was only a picture of me.

  5. Hugely inspiring. How does God place any value on me?! Me!! I’m blown away, as always, by the whacked out reality that God has created. Now to get my own sense of reality in line…

  6. could not find the cartoons again…but I have a response to the carrot lying in the hospital bed….

    Your roots show you are no longer a carotene.

    (as in carrot teen)

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