Every Person Is Important
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Because God values human beings, each has intrinsic, essential value. This should cause us to value each human being. All humans, no matter what their gender, race, skin tone, or creed, are created equal. Each person bears God’s image and should be respected and treated as such. Neither one’s place nor one’s value in society diminishes a person’s intrinsic value.
Authors Lewis and Demarest put it this way:
Each person is of inestimable temporal and eternal value and significance. Persons have this inward worth inalienably as creatures of God made in the image of God. Their value goes far beyond that of their amazing bodies or that of being the highest animal on earth. Their value is not diminished when for some reason and for some time they are not useful to society in the form of their family, church or nation. Every living human being is of intrinsic worth—poor or rich, female or male, educated or not, lighter or darker—because he or she is an endlessly existing active spiritual person like God.1
Newborns, children, the elderly, the infirm, the disabled, the mentally retarded, the unborn, the hungry, widows, and prisoners, those you disagree with, even enemies—every human being, no matter what their condition, circumstance, or religious belief—has the dignity of being God’s image bearer, and deserves—and should be granted—equal honor and respect by all other human beings.—Peter Amsterdam
During her second month of nursing school, the professor gave the students a quiz. The last question stumped most people in the class. It read “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”
All the students had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired, and in her 50s, but how would any of them know her name? Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward their grade.
“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.”
The students never forgot that lesson. They also learned her name was Dorothy.—Author unknown2
In a world where only people with power, prestige, or wealth seem to count, God brings a different perspective. … Everyone matters to God. In God’s world, in his family, everyone is important. He cares about them all. That’s how God thinks and operates. So too in his church, every member matters. The church can never say that one person is more important than another. Jesus tells us the first will be last and the last will be first. God’s world is a world of grace. His love is not dependent on our actions. Even when we wander away, God still cares enough to chase us down and bring us home.
Such unconditional love seems strange and makes little sense in our world, where worth is measured in terms of status and productivity. But God sees every person as a child whom he loves. God sees us as his creation. God seeks us out—no matter who we are or what we have become. Such love is beyond our comprehension, yet we know it is real because in Christ, it touches us all. What reason for celebration and rejoicing!—Jerry Dykstra
Sir Michael Costa was a great orchestral conductor of the 19th century. It is said that one day he was conducting a rehearsal in which the orchestra was joined by a great choir. Midway through the session the piccolo player stopped playing. It seemed innocent enough—after all, who would miss the tiny piccolo amidst the great mass of instruments blazing away? All of a sudden Sir Michael stopped the entire orchestra and choir. “Stop! Stop! Where’s the piccolo? What’s happened to the piccolo?”
We may sometimes feel like that piccolo player—that we don’t have much to offer, that if we stopped our ministry, no one would notice anyway. Yet the Great Conductor notices, and needs us to complete his orchestral masterpiece!—From storiesforpreaching.com3
When you’re feeling like no more than a speck on the globe, know that God wants to use you too for his purposes, so keep the following [four points] in your heart:
You Possess Talents. We all have something in us and about us that God wants to use for the greater good. Perhaps you feel you don’t have talents because you don’t have a specific skill, such as sports or music. However, talents come in many different forms. For example, having joy, making others laugh, and living with a spirit of gratitude are all talents. Anything that God can work to spread his love is a talent.
You Were Made By God Himself. Everything God does, he does with purpose. He is not nonsensical, and he doesn’t make mistakes. Therefore, you were totally planned and meant to be. As Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Though you may possibly never know why in this lifetime, there is a specific and even beautiful purpose for you being alive.
Nobody Else Could Fill Your Shoes. Though we were all made in the image of God, we are each unique and unrepeatable. In this uniqueness, we portray an image of God that nobody else portrays. Think of it like a mosaic made of glass. God is the mosaic, and we are all tiny pieces of glass. Without one piece of glass, there is a missing piece. Therefore, without you, the world would miss out on the portrayal or image of God that you have been called to share.
You Are Unique. In this very moment, where you are sitting right now, nobody has ever lived it. The combination of you, your genes, your thoughts, every moment that has led up until now has created a unique you. And that you, living in this moment, is 100% unique. What will you do with your one-and-only you that God has created to bring love to the world. Only you can fulfill it; nobody else can. Will you?
While it can be beneficial to evaluate ourselves, and wonder if we are living to our full potential, we can’t fall into the lie that our full potential is not enough. The truth is that your life has been willed, designed, and crafted by the creator, who in his wisdom has ordered all things—including you.—Justina Miller4
Published on Anchor June 2019. Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Gordon R. Lewis and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology, Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 172.
2 Reported in “Heart At Work,” editors Jack Canfield and Jacqueline Miller.