Why does God value us so much? Where does our worth come from?
We are constantly trying to create worth in ourselves by our works. We often think God values and loves us because of what we bring to the table. It’s easy to think God chooses and elects us because he saw something special in us. But none of this is true. When God looks at people apart from the grace of Jesus Christ, he doesn’t see potential, he sees a problem.
God Values Us Because He Is Love
And yet he truly does love and value us immensely, more than we can ever fully know. The only reason God can love us even though we were his enemies is because his love is not based in us at all. He does not love us because of what we do. He loves us because of who he is, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Some people argue me on this and say God loves us and we are valuable because we are made in his image. I agree it is important to understand every person is made in the image of God. Because of this everyone is entitled to certain rights, respect, and safeties as human beings living on this shared earth.
However, I don’t believe God loves us because we are made in his image. I believe we are made in his image because he loves us. If God loves us mainly because we are made in his image that would mean he would have to love us less now that sin has tainted that image. God loves because he is full of unfailing love and he chooses to do so. I believe God loves us, therefore he made us in his image.
If this is true, if God loves us because of his character and not ours, we must also then realize our worth is contingent upon the things, people, or God we are worshipping.
You’re Worth What You Worship. Therefore Worship the God Who Can Give the Most
Where does our value come from? Jeremiah 2:5 states, “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.”
My worth and value is equal to whom I worship not because I earn my value through my worship. Rather, my worth is equal to whom I worship because love is not found in what I do but in the nature of the God, or gods, I serve. And as we can see from the verse above, there is no fault in God so only he can give a perfect love.
Love is always given, not earned. If you earned it, it is something other than true love. God loves because he is love. Since idols are worthless and have no true love to give within them, when I worship them rather than God, I only have what they give me, which is nothing.
Since God Values Us More than Other gods, We Should Take His Offer
People will be living a worthless life when God is not the one they seek to serve because God is the only one with any worth to give. When Christians do not actively try to please God, they will feel worthless because their intimate relationship with God will be hindered. Sinning is cutting yourself off from the endless relational fountain of value – God himself.
Living in this world is like being an item in an auction. As we stand up and look out, there are tons of bidders yelling and competing to buy us. In an auction, though, the item always goes to the highest bidder because the seller logically always wants the most return on the sale. When it comes to living in this world, however, people don’t always take the best price for themselves.
Idols yell at us like people in an auction, seeking to drown out the voice of God, promising us things they can never actually pay. But since God is the richest, he always has the highest bid out for us, and he alone can actually follow through with his promises since he already paid the ultimate price with the blood of Christ. Like a seller in an auction, we should obviously go with the highest bidder, not the loudest bidder. As 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) explains, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Jeremiah 2:11 in the ESV states, “But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.” In the NIV it reads, “But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols.” When we look at these translations together, we can see the meaning of this verse is that God is the peoples’ glory. When they stopped worshipping him, they stopped benefitting themselves, they stopped being glorious. They lost their value because they exchanged “their glory (ESV),” which is their “glorious God (NIV),” for “that which does not profit (ESV),” which is “worthless idols (NIV).”
Worthless idols do not benefit us because they have no worth to give (Psalm 115:8). If you want to feel valuable and loved, then commit your life to glorifying God. And when you experience the joy only God can give, you will be glorifying God as he alone deserves. An intimate relationship with Jesus fills like nothing else because God is full of love to give like no one else.
We should not seek to be found worthy because of our works; rather, we should seek to worship God because of the value he freely and undeservedly already placed on us because of what Jesus has done through his glorious gospel.