My worth does not lie in what I do but in my person. The way we live makes this difficult to grasp in terms of others and even more difficult in terms of ourselves. When we try to characterize another person we invariably call to mind what they have done. We are conditioned to look at accomplishments when we estimate others and ourselves. What, then, can we say of ourselves or others unless we list the things we or they have done? If we could not list any accomplishments would it mean that the worth of the person we are considering is negligible?
Maybe our approach to human worth is backward. Maybe we should begin such an approach by asking: What can we say about another (or ourselves) without any listing of accomplishments? The first thing we can say is that a person is alive. Life, in and of itself, gives great value to every human being. So much does life itself set our worth that Your Father deemed it worthy of saving. God’s supremely high estimation of His gift of life attaches untold worth to every individual regardless of what they have accomplished. Furthermore, there is in each of us great potential for the good, and for love.
Consideration of our accomplishments turns us inward and fuels our sense of self. But the out-flowing quest for the good, and the giving quality of love ignores self. This potentiality gives us great worth. Life itself, our potentialities, and Your saving will for mankind makes each person valuable as a person – not as a doer.
It’s a wonderfully uncomplicated thing to look at another simply as a vessel of life, or simply as the object of God’s great and compassionate love, or simply as one capable of containing goodness and sharing love. Regard for what a person has accomplished is courteous. Recognition is respectful. But it is not what one has done or will do that establishes a person’s inherent worth – except in the eyes of the world. Human ways are not God’s ways. For God to hold us dearly in His heartwe need not submit a list of accomplishments. It is not so much what we do that God loves, but what we are. We grow closer to God when we learn to accept this.