A Question of Worth


Here’s one of those deep questions that everyone asks themselves from time to time (though rarely out loud).

The question is this: Where does our value, our worth as human beings come from?

Does it come from the amount of money and stuff we accumulate during our lifetimes?

Is our worth tied to the level of success we achieve or how much notoriety or fame or popularity we attain?

Does getting something named after you – like a building or a monument or a stretch of highway – show proof of your worth?

Are scholarly and professional titles indications of a person’s value?

Does our value come from what we do for a living or our hobbies or interests or even our passions?

Are you more valuable as a person if you have extraordinary talent or beauty or athletic ability or intelligence or vision or ambition?

Is worth determined by skin color or gender or some other factor we have no control over?

Does having privilege or lacking privilege make one more or less worthy?

Do our religious beliefs or political views determine our value?

Can human worth be calculated as a combination of some or all of these things?

Can we determine our own worth?

Does just saying or believing that we have worth automatically give us worth?

Do we earn value individually, or is it bestowed on us collectively by society or the government or some other group, institution, corporation, or organization that we consider ourselves to be a part of?

Does our worth come from the love we give and receive from family and friends?

I’d say that last question cuts closer to the heart of the matter than the others, but I think it goes even deeper than that.

I believe that, at the most basic and essential level, our worth originates in the fundamental truth that we are all valued and loved by the One who created us.

And because our worth comes from God, it can’t be taken away – not by public opinion or by court order or an act of Congress or even through our own faults and failures. It can’t be stolen or removed by force. Public shaming, imprisonment, and even death can’t cancel it out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all the things I mentioned earlier have no importance. But what I am saying is that the worth and value and love that comes from God is a solid foundation on which a life of worth and purpose can be built.

If our sense of worth is founded on an eternal source, then what is built on that foundation can have eternal value.

And that’s something we can never get from wealth or fame or success or power or intelligence or anything else we do, acquire, or achieve.

But if we truly own and accept and believe in the value and worth we all have in Him, that’s a springboard from which all good things are made possible.