Words of Grace
I remember a statement in math class that went something like this: “The whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” That probably works for math, but it isn’t true in life. Fittingly, the first recorded challenge to that statement came from a philosopher, Aristotle. Philosophy has always understood that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
You and I are more than what we have done or what we have gathered into our lives. There is something about every individual that is separate from everything in this world. There is an identity greater than our parts.
In other words, I am not a collection of the things I have associated with or the things I have done or even the things I have thought. I am me. I am a person, an individual. I surround myself with decorations, but I am still me. The organizations or people with whom I associate are not me. The places of my life are not me. The activities with which I fill my life, or which I have done in the past, are not me. Even my family is not me.
To the world I say: When you look at me and judge my clothing or my connections or my home or any of my other adornments, you are not yet seeing me. Yes, I may have chosen some of these things in my desire to express myself; but they are just things I like or use, not me.
And to my own heart I say: There is One who loves me, the real me, and He knows me personally. Jesus doesn’t love me because I dress a certain way or go to a certain church or perform a certain service; He just loves me. When I do something wrong, whether sin or mistake, He still loves me. He looks past all my coverings and sees my heart. He loves me.
I am me.
I am not what others see connected to me.
I am more than the sum of all my parts.
And Jesus loves me.
Words of Grace
What are you worth? From time to time that question comes up in our lives and it usually hurts. So many people and things can make us feel devalued or undervalued.
The boss rejects your raise. The client fails to show up for the appointment. The friend doesn’t call. The child won’t talk. The spouse hasn’t the time. No one notices your extra effort. No one cares about your pain. It isn’t hard to begin to think you have no value.
I have been there. Work hard and get only criticism. Work late and no one cares. Work faithfully and people walk away. Carry the burdens of others and have no one who walks with you.
Someone once said, “Everybody wants to be somebody to somebody.” We need to know that someone notices, that someone values us.
You are valued! There is One who suffered for you because He loved you. To Him, you are the pearl of great price, the apple of His eye, the treasure of His heart. God has not forgotten you. To Him you are very special.
Jesus told His disciples to trust in the Lord.
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NKJV)
It may not seem like much to be compared with sparrows, but the point is that God knows you. He knows all about you and He loves you. Jesus went to the cross for you.
So, no matter what happens around you, you are valued. You can shrug off the insensitivity of others by reminding yourself of the truth. You can stand up and give yourself words of affirmation based on the truth of the Word of God. He loves you. He values you.
I am valued.
The God of the Universe loves me.
He has gone to great lengths to reach out and connect with me.
He has forgiven me and welcomed me.
I am valued.