How much is a crisp, new twenty pound note worth? £20. How much is a screwed up, dirt-smeered twenty pound note worth? Still £20. No matter how dirty a twenty pound note may be, no one will ever rebuke it. It will always be wanted. The worth of the note is not measured, or defined, by its outward appearance. It's actually far from that.
The worth of our lives comes, not in what we do or who we know, but by whose we are. In this comparing, criticising culture, it's so easy to measure our value based on the physical possessions around us. By a number on our bank statement. By our job positions. By the people we know. But the worth of the human soul journeys far deeper than what the eye can see. This world will try its every effort to define you. If you don't know the depth of worth that your soul carries, then the world will sure be willing to tell you for you.
Ever since I can remember, the fear of public speaking has governed every inch of my body. And I'm not talking about giving a talk to hundreds (as I'm sure that would scare many), but I mean even talking to a group of 3 or 4 would cripple my body with an inexplicable fear. A real fear. The kind of fear that would drench my palms in sweat and make me run to the toilet to hide. And people knew this. Sadly, just like many people, I believed everything people said about me.
Their ruthless remarks scared my soul, and drowned out everything my mother had raised me knowing. Words such as shy, awkward and quiet came like a snake into my life, stealing my joy, happiness and defining who I was. If someone said "tell me about yourself," I'd start with "I'm shy...". The value others had placed upon myself held me captive for many years.
As a rising generation of young people, we need to keep our identity rooted in Jesus Christ. His word is woven into the fabric of our creation. Words such as loved, adopted, chosen and beautiful are sewn into the very being of our creation. Seek the voice of heaven before the voice of this world, and you will be clothed with an armour sure to overcome the deafening noise of culture.
"Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch our smooth before you," says the Lord in Proverbs 4:23. These sideshow distractions are the antics of today's culture. There's only one way to drown out these distractions- the areas which define our worth for us- and that's to keep our eyes straight ahead.
There's a relentless love that is madly chasing after you. You are found in the greatest love story of ever told, and can confidently lean into His words which will forever define you. Never seek your importance through the standards of the world. Why would you seek your identity in a world that isn't promised a tomorrow? In a world that will fade?
Let's use our words to place value on one another. Let's take delight in honouring each other, and really love each other with a genuine affection. Let's love from the centre of who we are, and discover beauty in everyone. Be a generation of people who see each other through a lens of beauty and worth.
Whenever I feel like my self-worth or value is getting lost in the blurry mess of culture, I come back to the source. "You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb," says Psalm 139:13. It helps me to breathe in my value once again, so I can stand strong declaring my 'joy is boundless, my soul knows its worth!'
It can be so wrong in this world, but if it is well in your soul, and you know your worth, then then environment you are in will not change you. Mediate on the one who created you and when the world tries to define you, God's words will drown them out. Because if we embrace each day knowing we are ever fearfully and wonderfully made, then there is nothing this world can do to your soul, your core being.