Not proving our worth — just living it…
Have you ever been asked to prove something? If you are an attorney or a scientist this task is likely routine. But for those of us without legal or scientific minds, the art of presenting evidence is a little trickier.
I recently saw the movie Belle. Based on a true story, Dido Elizabeth Belle is the biracial child of a black slave and an English aristocrat. Her mother dies and her dutiful father sees to it that Belle is given a life of privilege despite the racial tensions of her times. Set in 18th century England, Dido is not just torn between two worlds — she is torn between proving her worth or just living it.
Our interaction with people can carry a balance sheet mentality – if we assign pluses or minuses based on what we feel they have to offer.
— Joy A. Williams (@joytothesoul) September 30, 2014
Although her plight occurred centuries ago, her issue is very present day. We live in a society where individual worth is perceived and not intrinsically given. News outlets often lead with stories that tell us how the value of an individual is easily discarded. But in God’s eyes every life has value, regardless of ethnic, socioeconomic, and countless other factors. However, our interaction with people can carry a balance sheet mentality — if we assign pluses or minuses based on what we feel they have to offer.
As a result, like Dido, you and I may feel the pressure of proving ourselves too. The expectations are great and seemingly unending. If we are smart, we should have a high G.P.A. Attractive, we should have lots of admirers. Wise, we should dispense counsel to the masses. Athletic, we should compete at the highest level. The list goes on and on. And we can go on and on trying to prove our worth.
It’s easy to fall into the rut of trying to prove ourselves when we don’t know our true value. Each hoop we jump through may become the justifiable means to bring us one step closer to acceptance and approval. The affirmation doesn’t have to last long; it just has to be loud enough so we can hear it and make sure that others hear it too.
If you’ve ever felt like you’ve landed on an unending proving ground, here’s some good news. Jesus rose above the crowd’s request based on His mission to express our value to God. Jesus didn’t try to prove He was the Son of God, He lived what God said of Him in the Old and New Testaments. He didn’t yield to the temptation of making stones into bread. He took five loaves of bread and fed five thousand. He didn’t dress like a Jewish king, post-resurrection He ascended up to His throne.
As we follow His example, we can be confident in what God has said about us too. We can believe He will take our little and make much to serve those He has assigned us to. And although we may not look the part (from the crowd’s perspective), we can look to Him to complete the good work He has begun in our lives. How much is that worth? I’m thinking there’s no earthly figure. But we can choose to live it by God’s grace and that brings hope to my heart and joy to my soul.
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Matthew 10:29-31