She wasn’t then, nor is she now a lovely woman. You most likely wouldn’t recognize her if you saw her, and you might quickly pass by without thinking her worthy of stares. Picasso painted “Woman With Folded Arms” in 1902, depicting a plain-dressed woman sitting with her arms crossed staring depressingly into space – evidently lost in thought [perhaps the feelings of many regrets.] She sold in 2000 for a cool 55 million dollars at Christie’s Auction house! Amazing! The embarrassing truth is that I wouldn’t have paid $5 for the painting at a yard sale!
A painting’s value is ultimately determined by what someone is willing to pay! The art that I stupidly would not have paid $5 for at a yard sale is worth more money than most can even imagine. Everyone ultimately struggles with the idea of value. Most issues people wrestle with are rooted in the confidence individuals have concerning their worth.
Correctly answering the question of what determines our worth becomes critical to a life well lived. Is it looks? Our intelligence? Our accomplishments? The family to which we were born? Is it how many know our name? Or perhaps it is how many “views” and “likes” we get on our social media posts? In the financial world, we determine worth by counting assets. And yet, when you look at many of those whose net worth is fantastic you still find troubled individuals who can’t seem to find real peace. So our actual value must be derived from something more.Correctly answering the question of what determines our worth becomes critical to a life well lived. Click To Tweet
I submit to you, that just as a painting’s value is determined by what someone is willing to pay to acquire it, your worth is forever decided by the price Someone paid! This is good news! This is Gospel truth: “You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed….with the precious blood of Christ…” [I Pt. 1:18-19 Amp]
If we are honest, I believe we each have to admit that we struggle with the issue of worth! Do we matter? If we matter, how much and to whom? Far too many live constantly seeking to “measure up.” We are told that buying this car, living in this kind and size of a house, wearing this “brand,” following this “checklist” (or not following it), determines that we are somebody worthy of existing!
Many rebel against the idea of “measuring up” according to the things I have mentioned above only to begin to feel that they possess worth because they are willing to go against the grain of normalcy within the culture. Sadly, they end up just creating a counterculture that is as anemic as the current culture. The cycle only continues to feed the insecurities that encourage us to live small lives.
Everyone I know would like to live largely. Even those who have little hope of doing so, still dream of what it must be like to enjoy life in abundance. This desire certainly isn’t a negative trait, on the contrary, I believe it is part of the DNA of humans. Created in the image of God we have a particular inclination to abundant living! Jesus declared that He came so that all who believe Him will enjoy life more abundantly! [See John 10:10]
How then can we live the maximized life?There are three questions that you must answer if you want to live life to the fullest:
1. First, what is your view of God?
2. Second, what is God’s view of you?
3. Third, what is your view of you?
These questions are at the heart of understanding the worth of the individual and learning how to live life indeed.
First, let’s look at how we see God? How do you view Him? Is He elusive? Difficult to please? Is He constantly nitpicking and finding fault? Do you see Him as being quick to point out your errors and remind you of how messed up you are? Do you believe that He is reluctant to give you anything good? Is He hard on sin and hard on you? Or do you see Him as a doting old grandfather who never corrects? Always looks the other way? Never challenges you to change because He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings? Freely giving you everything you want just because you want it? Easy on you, easy on sin?First, let’s look at how we see God? How do you view Him? Is He elusive? Difficult to please? Is He constantly nitpicking and finding fault? Click To Tweet
The way you view God is the absolute key to the way you live your life. Who is God and what is He like? You may say, “But how can I know what God is like?” That is a great question, and thankfully we have a great answer! JESUS! In John’s gospel, Jesus says, “To see Me is to see the Father.” [John 14:9 Message] Jesus is God in action! If you want to know how God views sin, look at Jesus! If you want to know how God sees sinners, look at Jesus! If you want to know how God views sickness, look at Jesus! Jesus is the visible expression of the invisible God!The way you view God is the absolute key to the way you live your life Click To Tweet
So to get an accurate view of who God is, we need to look to Jesus! When we see Him deal with the woman “caught in the very act of adultery” we catch a glimpse of who God is and how he thinks. Three truths emerge from the narrative that deserves our attention: First, it is evident that God is not OK with sin! Jesus’ instructs the little woman who was caught in sin, to go and sin no more. Second, the story shows that God is not OK with religious hypocrisy! Jesus forcibly rebukes the religious group of men who came with rocks in hand, willing to execute a sinner while pretending holiness. Third, Jesus proves that while God is never OK with sin or religious pretension, He is more than OK with the sinner!
Jesus’ love shot through the darkness like a bolt of brilliant lightning striking the earth with a jolt of magnanimous power, “Neither do I condemn you. Go…” [See Jn 8:1-12] She was worthy of death in everyone’s eyes who knew what she had done. Even those who only thought they knew her sin agreed that if Jesus commanded her stoning, it would be what she deserved. But Jesus saw worth in her that not even she could see or dare believe.
The law demanded that she die. It was indeed what she deserved. God had said, “The soul who sins shall die.” [Ezekiel 18:20] Yet, God stood there before her in the person of Jesus Christ and released her from what she deserved. Why? Is it because the God of the Old Testament is a different God than the God of the New Testament? Some seem to think so, but the Bible is clear that “He is always the same.” There is no difference between the God of Sinai and the God of Calvary.There is no differing between the God of Sinai and the God of Calvary. Click To Tweet
His releasing her from the due death penalty wasn’t because He had changed. God had not recently fallen in love with people whom He used to hate. No indeed. He released her because He had come to take her place in death. He said, “Do not begin to suppose that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” [Matthew 5:17 Wuest] She went home with a new lease on life because Jesus came to take her place in death. And not only her position but ours also.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” [John 15:13] He voluntarily gave His life for you and me. Wow! Religion teaches that we are unworthy. Jesus declares us to be “TO DIE FOR!” By HIs actions, He has made us worthy! Now you just need to believe! Believe His love and live like someone significantly valued by the Almighty God!