We are a society that is obsessed with the comparison-game. We foolishly marvel at an entertainer’s mansion in Hollywood that carries a  price tag of several million dollars – then begin to devalue our own home in comparison.  Or, we are very content with our cell phone until someone else shows us a new I-Phone.  Suddenly, the phone that once served us very well now has lost its worth merely through our comparing it with something more popular.

We do it all the time – even in the Church.  Early in my ministry I used to determine the worth of my sermons by comparing them with the eloquence and charisma of other more gifted speakers.  (You can guess how that comparison went down).  Comparison can be dangerous – especially in determining our own worth.  We long and search for value and worth – even after we come to Christ.  Why?

A few years ago, they auctioned off some furniture that once belonged to President John F. Kennedy.  One of the items on the auction block was a tiny little step-stool (not much bigger that a car battery) that was worn, frayed and ugly-looking… but it sold for over $30,000.00.  On its own, this little piece of furniture was worthless, but its value was determined by who it belonged to: JFK.

There are far too many people who see themselves as worn, frayed, ugly-looking individuals,  who have no value.  But our value is not determined by who we are, but by WHOSE we are.  Jesus tells us repeatedly that we have value:

  • “Your heavenly Father feeds [the birds].  Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26closeMatthew 6:26 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (ESV) closeMatthew 6:26closeMatthew 6:26 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (ESV) 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (ESV) .
  • “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31closeMatthew 10:31 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV) closeMatthew 10:31closeMatthew 10:31 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV) 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (ESV)
  • “How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!”  Matthew 12:12closeMatthew 12:12 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (ESV) closeMatthew 12:12closeMatthew 12:12 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (ESV) 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (ESV)

The point of these scriptures is not to show that we are just a step above birds and sheep.  On the contrary!  God cares for and places a value on everything He creates – especially people because we were created in His image.  He created us and called us to belong to Him (Romans 1:6closeRomans 1:6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (ESV) closeRomans 1:6closeRomans 1:6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (ESV) including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (ESV) ).

So what prevents us from giving it all up and allowing ourselves to BELONG TO GOD?  Comparison!  When you admit that “you are not your own” and that “you were bought at a price” (1 Cor. 7:19-20close1 Corinthians 7:19-20 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. (ESV) close1 Corinthians 7:19-20close1 Corinthians 7:19-20 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. (ESV) 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. (ESV) ), you can no longer compare yourselves to others.  The only One you can compare yourself to is God.  Your value is not determined by who you are compared to, but Who you belong to.

Everyone in the world is looking for a place to belong.  God knows that!  He created us to belong.  In fact, we have already been bought at a price to belong.  Why do we devalue ourselves (and others) by shutting out Jesus?

 

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