Isaiah 13:12 “I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.”
People who know me know how much of a sports enthusiast I am. I enjoy watching, listening to, and reading about sports. I find statistics particularly fascinating. In today’s world of sports, every aspect of an athlete’s performance is carefully documented and scrutinized. Statistics are then used to evaluate an athlete’s ability and performance and are compared with others in the league. This statistical evaluation of performance is often used to assist in contract negotiations. Therefore, a player’s performance and ability is directly related to their worth.
As a child, teenager, and young adult, I determined my own self-worth through my performance and accomplishments. I compared myself to family members, classmates, and co-workers in an effort to find my value. I measured the value of my accomplishments and success not by statistics, but through the accolades of others. Soon I began to lose my identity.
Our identity is tied directly to our value, and when we find our worth in human praise, our identity becomes distorted and clouded and we become discontent. In order to regain my identity, I needed to find my worth. To find my worth, I needed to turn to the Creator. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.” As I read this verse, I began to reflect on what it truly means to be created in God’s image. A good friend helped me simplify this idea. In ancient days, great conquerors and rulers would erect statues made in their likeness to indicate their lordship over a territory. Anyone who defaced, insulted or destroyed one of these images was punished as if they had assaulted the ruler himself. In a similar fashion, God has claimed lordship over all of creation by creating us in His image. By doing so, He has created us valuable and priceless. Since our value has been predetermined, there is nothing we can do to increase or decrease our worth. Therefore, my performance no longer determines my value and to devalue myself is to devalue not only what God has created, but God himself.
To this day, I find myself still struggling with this idea of worth and value. I feel bombarded daily with a desire to seek acceptance and praise for my performance. The workplace is laden with evaluations, promotions, special positions, and monetary rewards that set value to performance. Facebook can be a Pharisee’s virtual street corner where people collect praise (likes) for personal achievements, possessions, and find acceptance and value in having 300+ “friends.” Resting in the knowledge of my value to God continues to be difficult. However, this challenge has led me to examine my performance in the light of grace and my interaction with those around me. Praise be to God that we are so invaluable to him; nothing we do will ever make us less than priceless.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…”