When I wrote this, the Coronavirus had already taken a toll on the economy, and many people had lost a significant amount of their net worth. I wanted to explore an idea that Derek had the other week about how we measure our worth. He suggested, "I don't think we should measure our life based on the amount of work we are doing. There is so much more to life than work."
My guess is that right now, most people attribute worth and success to the monetary value of their earnings or possessions. At least that is how I think culture tends to view success. Hopefully, these last few weeks of global introspection will start a culture shift to think differently about this. There are two points that I believe are worth making:
- The value you bring does not impact your worth.
- We are inherently worth more than we know or believe.
The value you bring does not impact your worth.
The billionaires of the world care a lot about running businesses and making profit. This is what they know and are good at, so I understand why they focus on continuing to bring value to the business world. The Musks, Bezozes, and Dells of the world have a lot of money and power, so they bring a lot of value to the table.
Thankfully, in times of crisis, it is popular for these billionaires to step up and solve problems. I hope that philanthropy will become more commonplace, so we can begin to solve other problems around the world, such as hunger and homelessness.
Regardless of how much value they can bring to the table, as people, they are not worth any more than you or me. They are not worth any more than the homeless person begging outside of their offices. This might not be logical from a mathematical position, but deep down, we all know that we cannot compare the worth of one person's life to another.
So where does our worth come from?
Our worth comes from God who created us and Jesus who died for us.
We are inherently worth more than we know or believe.
There's a reason I have avoided using the term self-worth. Our worth doesn't come from within. Even if you don't believe in God, you probably feel a sense that we are all connected in purpose as a human race. We all have a shared purpose to build up the Kingdom of God.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul shares how we are God's workmanship and how Jesus died for us so that we can take part in His Kingdom.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV
While deep down we might know we can't compare the worth of other people's lives, it is very easy for us to compare our own lives to others’ with either a sense of pride or shame. It's an easy lie for us to believe that we are not good enough or successful enough, that we need to change or do more so that we can be seen. Thankfully, God does not ask us to do more in order to earn his love. We are worth so much to Him, and it is through nothing we have done.
I hope you can find encouragement through this–that even in times when you might have difficulty finding work or when most of your life savings are down the drain, you still have worth. I think Derek was right when he said that our work shouldn't be how we measure our lives. God has given us so much more to live for!