Seeing the Value in People
How do you view yourself? Is your value founded in Jesus or in your past, or the opinions of others? In order to value people, we must look at how we value ourselves. The value you put on yourself, correlates with the way you value others. The basis of this is, understanding our value so that we can give others that same value.
I have been following Jesus my whole life, but I also have to admit, for a while my value was founded on the opinion of others. If other people didn’t find me beautiful, then I didn’t believe I was. If I didn’t have friends, it believed I wasn’t good enough. I allowed the opinion of others to have a hold on my life. This began to pour out on the way I valued people. Because I didn’t see my true value, I began to treat people, as if they weren’t as precious to Jesus as they were. I would do things that I knew were hurting people. God see’s us as his precious children. He didn’t just choose which people had value and which ones didn’t, and I am so thankful for that. He died for ALL of humanity, meaning that each one of us holds that same value.
1 John 3:16 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us, so we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” New Living Translation
We must love each other with the same love, and not just our friends, but ALL people. Jesus speaks of love so many times in the Bible because He knows that true love changes people. True love happens when we see the true value of people.
Jesus knew how important this was, that’s why he made it a command, Mark 12:30-31“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important, Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” New Living Translation
If you are going to love others, the way we love ourselves, we must first love ourselves. If you don’t love yourself, and understand your own value, how can you understand others?
So how do you love yourself? You begin by letting Jesus love you. My Pastor Joel Holm shared this thought, “When we try and acquire love, we stop giving love. God’s love can never be acquired, it can only be received.” As christians, we know this to be true. We must first allow God to love us fully first. The truth is that he already does, but some of us are not opening up ourselves up to fully receive it. When we let God love us fully, we begin to love ourselves better, which ultimately leads to loving other better.
God called us to love our enemies because he knows love is so powerful, and it can change people's lives. This is no small feat. Loving people that are never going to love you back, or even appreciate your love is hard, yet Jesus still asks us to do it. Love people that it is inconvenient for you to love. Jesus was constantly loving people that didn’t love him. We may not see the end result, but loving others that it is hard for us to love will change people’s lives. Take the time to really, honestly, and fully love those that it is hardest for you to love. Value those that society says have no value. Jesus has called us to do this, and through valuing ourselves, we begin to see the value in others.