OCTOBER 10, 2014
Value Is in the Eye of the Beholder
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)
All they saw was a piece of useless junk. But I saw a precious treasure.
Years ago on a cold winter morning, my young children and I were sitting around the kitchen table chatting about the gifts they wanted for Christmas. When my daughter expressed a desire for a new baby doll, memories from long ago came to mind.
I remembered running excitedly down the stairs on Christmas morning to see my new doll sitting in front of the tree. She had big chocolate brown eyes, silky hair and a long ponytail that cascaded down her little pink ruffled dress. But her greatest feature was the cord in her back. When pulled, it wound all the strands of hair back into her head, transforming her long locks into a short bob.
As I shared how beautiful and special this doll was to me, Kaitlyn said, "Awww. I wish we could have seen her." My eyes lit up with excitement as I shared with them that I still had her! I scurried to the closet, dug out the box and held up the doll with pride, thrilled to share a piece of my childhood with my children.
After a few seconds of awkward silence, Morgan spoke up with child-like honesty: "Mom, she is ugly!"
Then Kaitlyn said sheepishly, "Yeah Mommy. She kind of looks scary." Little Michael was too stunned for words.
We all shared a laugh, but as I gently tucked my doll back into her box, I caught a glimpse of what they really saw.
They saw an outdated toy covered in scuffmarks with missing eyelashes and oversized bulging eyes. They saw tangled, fuzzy red hair that had been pressed against the side of a box for 30 years and a faded dress that was stained and ripped.
Yet because she was valuable to me, I saw beyond her imperfections. My love alone gave her value, and no one else's opinions would change that.
As I stood in the aftermath of my kids shunning my doll, my thoughts wandered back to the years I spent questioning my own value — years wondering if the sins of my past or the failures of my present had stolen my value in God's eyes. Years not realizing how precious I was to Jesus.
Apparently the disciples wondered about these things, too.
In Luke Chapter 12, Jesus knew He and His disciples would soon be judged and persecuted. To calm their fears, He offered encouragement of their worth with the story about sparrows.
In biblical times, sparrows had little value, other than being cheap food for the poor.
Jesus shared with His disciples how God loved the little sparrows, even though they were worthless in the eyes of the world. He assured them God's love for them was immeasurably more.
Jesus wanted them to understand He saw beyond their imperfections, sins and fears, and beheld them as valuable, no matter what anyone else thought. He loved them simply because they were His. He alone gave them great value.
Like the disciples, Jesus values each of us, no matter what. Nothing we have ever done or endured has lessened our value in Christ.
You see, real value is in the eye of the beholder, and Christ is the Beholder of us all. Our value not only makes us precious to God, but it also makes us usable for amazing purposes in His kingdom that we would have never imagined.
Might you see yourself through His eyes today and embrace who you are because of Whose you are?
Lord, I struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness due to the hardships I have endured and the mistakes I've made. Help me see myself through Your eyes and accept how valuable I am in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV)
Tracie Miles' new book Your Life Still Counts releases soon! If you struggle with low self-confidence or feelings of unworthiness and long to embrace your value and purpose in Christ, click here to purchase her book and take advantage of all the great free resources and videos available through Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Visit Tracie's blog for a special video message of encouragement. Catch a glimpse of her treasured baby doll and enter to win one of five signed advance copies of her new book!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How have you allowed the opinions of others to convince you that you are not valuable to God?
In what ways have your past experiences equipped you to serve God in a special way?
© 2014 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105