Once while visiting a church, I overheard some women talking about another woman. Apparently this lady had recently divorced her husband and left him with both of their kids. But it was the next words that struck me: “That’s horrible. I can never imagine doing such a thing.”
While that sounds admirable, it’s absolutely false. We as Christians can easily think that because someone is going down a darker path than us, we are immune to the same fate. But it’s gone a step further. The popular sermon of “feel-good” preachers is that you’re special, talented, and totally worth God’s time. In fact, I recently heard a song in which the chorus ended with the line “You were worth dying for”, meaning that it was definitely worth Jesus’ time and suffering to die for you.
But what’s the problem with this thinking?
- It blows your chance of living with God’s power. Since God’s power working in us is based on our dependence upon Him, how can we believe that we need Him if we’re worth so much.
- It prevents unity in the church. Why does it seem like Christians are attacking each other instead of helping? One reasons is because we buy into this idea that I’m better than the person next to me.
- We end up having zero self-worth. If we are good people, better than others, and worth it for Jesus to die for us, then what happens when we sin? Maybe I’m not actually worth it. Our sense of worth and purpose suddenly revolves around our actions instead of how God sees us.
Here’s the truth: Apart from God’s grace and Jesus Christ’s righteousness, you and I are dirty, rotten, self-loving, perverted sinners.
Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Just believe the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 the Apostle Paul lists characteristics of those who won’t be found in heaven. But before his audience gets too puffed up about themselves, he reminds them that “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I don’t get my value from who I am, but from who chose me. “But Dan, because God chose you, that makes you valuable.” Also false. Why? Just because God chose me doesn’t mean there’s something special about me now. What it means is that God, in His sovereignty and mercy, chose me to be His adopted son. It doesn’t mean I’m valuable, but it does mean that I’m valued. You’re not lovable, but you are loved.
An amazing exercise to help find your meaning is to go to Ephesians chapter 1, and circle every time you see the word “His,” “He,” or “Him.” Do that, and then read it through again. You will quickly realize the beautiful beautiful truth:
You’re not lovable, but you are loved.