I love garage sales.
I love the adventure of hunting for random deals. You never know what you’ll find out there on the garage sale circuit but it just might be the deal of a lifetime! Well, maybe it’s not that glamorous and exciting but it does make me think about value. I’ve learned that the value of an object can be somewhat subjective. That is why we use the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” What you think is valuable I might not.
The value of an object is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it.
For example; you might pay a lot of money for an iPhone. I won’t. I want to sell my Beanie Baby collection on eBay for $1000 but you might not want to pay a dime for those cute little critters. Why not? So, is an iPhone really worth $900? Are my Beanie Babies really worth $1000? Not if you won’t pay that much. Value is a funny thing. Sometimes things are overvalued and sometimes things are undervalued. Which one of those words would you use to describe yourself? How much are you worth?
When it comes to self-worth we all struggle to be accurate. There are some who appear to overvalue themselves and it shows in the prideful arrogance they use to puff themselves up. But I imagine you might be with me in the other camp, I lean more on the self-critical-unworthy side of the spectrum. I have a hard time believing that I am worth much to anyone, let alone to God. Whether you overestimate your worth or underestimate your worth, the truth is, you and I need an external source to set things straight. Where can we find this ultimate source to finally tell us what we are worth? You won’t find it in yourself. You won’t find it in others. You won’t find it in success. You’ll only be able to find that answer through Jesus.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
The statement above should make you feel altogether ashamed and overwhelmingly valuable at the same time. For us to determine our true worth we must examine the role of Jesus in our life.
1 – I’m Costly – The thing that makes you and me costly is not exactly complimentary. It was our sin that set the price so high. Most objects of value are considered worth the price. If someone buys a famous painting at auction they do so because they see value in it. I fail to see what is so valuable about me that it cost God his one and only Son. Surely, you and I are not worth the price of Jesus.
We love hero narratives. You’ll find them all throughout popular movies, books, and TV shows. We applaud the hero who sacrifices himself to save the child, the village, the dog, or the world. We cheer because we are glad that these people are being rescued. We see value in their rescue. It makes a good movie. But what about a movie were the central person being rescued is the evil bad guy? Would we rejoice to see the hero of the movie sacrifice himself for his wicked enemy? Nope. We would cringe. We would question what in the world this hero was thinking. We would give that movie two thumbs down.
While we were the enemies of God He rescued us. While we were wicked He saved us. Let the truth of your costliness collide with the love and grace it took for Jesus to pull off your rescue.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
2 – Jesus is My Worth – I don’t feel worthy of Jesus. My actions and heart do not always represent my eternal value well. I must remind myself that my worth does not come from what I can do or say, it comes from the one who bought me. If someone is willing to pay a high price then it means they highly value what they are getting. The irony of our salvation is that, as mentioned before, we are not worth the cost of Jesus but Jesus didn’t buy us for what we are worth He bought us with what He is worth. The righteous worth of Jesus is then given to the one who believes.
This is a difficult truth to grasp but an incredible example of God’s grace. He gives us the worth we don’t deserve. He gives us value far beyond what we could ever earn. It’s okay to admit right now that you won’t live up to that value. You and I will act unworthy. Then we will try and prove that we are worthy. There is nothing you can do to make yourself more valuable to God, and there is nothing you can do to make yourself less valuable to God. Whether it is our self-conscious attempts to make God happier or our sloppy and sinful behavior it won’t change our worth in Jesus.
When you feel like trash remember that in Christ you are His treasure. When you try to impress God with your treasure remember that it is trash. Find your worth in Jesus. Find your worth in walking with Him each day. Find your worth in knowing the one who makes your worthy. Find your worth resting in the grace of God that says you are loved, period.
Now, let that fuel the way you see yourself, others, and God.