You Never Lose Your Value
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Not long ago I was visiting my mother at the rehab facility as she was recovering from a fall. As I was in the elevator at the hospital, a man joined me and I recognized him as a worker from another church. We talked about my mother as he knew her and as we walked outside he began to talk about the Holy Spirit and told me a story about something he had watched just that morning. It was about a girl and a smudged penny. As he leaned in closer to me, looking at me intently, his words hit me strongly “you never lose your worth.” I knew then that the Lord was speaking through this man and sending a direct message at a time when I needed to hear it the most because he repeated it again just as intently. This God planned meeting for me was yet another confirmation of how God is always watching out for us, just as He does for the birds of the air, and encouraging us to finish the race Paul talks about in Acts 20:23-24:
“except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
The gist of the story was that a girl had picked up a penny off the ground and examined it. The penny was smudged and kind of dirty yet even though it didn’t look as shiny as it once had, it never lost its worth. The value of that penny was still the same. The girl knew she had done wrong things in the past and felt bad about it but the message was clear – she still had value in the eyes of God. When we come to Christ, we can be like that penny, smudged and dirty yet still valuable to God. Once we accept Jesus and become saved, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and helps us to clean up so we can become that shiny penny. Now, I’ve heard similar stories like this before but God ministered a bit more to me, going more behind the scenes of what other people do not always take the time to look at – how that penny got all of those smudges and that in different periods of our life, even Christians can become smudged again until we seek out the Holy Spirit’s cleansing. Being I’m one who likes to look behind the scenes as to the why and the how of things because it helps me to understand people and love them more, it’s fitting that the Lord ministered more to me.
If we saw a shiny penny in a jar of smudged pennies, no doubt our eyes would be drawn to it. We may even choose that pretty penny over every other penny, though their value is all the same, simply because it looks shiny. If you observe children, they are like this. If you were to put a used toy with some flaws in front of them that they happily use every day and then put the same toy in front of them that is brand new, most of the time they will choose that new toy. But that’s how we are as people. We value more what is new as opposed to what still works just as good but just needs to be cleaned up and fined tuned a bit if we took the time to do it.
When you look at a smudged penny, think about how it got that way. Day after day it gets handled by many different people, it gets dropped on the ground and walked on, and it even gets tossed in the garbage because some people feel it’s not as valuable as a nickel or dime (I’ve done it!). But if we were to take the time to clean up the smudged penny to make it look shiny again, it would look new. Yet if you took a closer look at it, you would see its war wounds…some nicks and dents from what it’s been through. Still, its value remains the same no matter if it’s smudged or cleaned up. And if you were to take every penny you found, whether shiny or smudged, the value of those pennies would increase not because of one penny, but because of all of them together. Now let’s take it a step further. After you clean up that penny and you put it back in use, after a while what happens to it? It becomes smudged again from all of the handling, dropping and tossing out, yet its value still remains the same.
Our value never changes to God. We are always valuable to Him. He may use us all differently but no one is more valuable than the other. We may become smudged more than others, but our value still remains the same. We all have our part in His plan and in the kingdom. Due to life, trials and even through tests, we may become smudged and a bit dirty along the way, but the Holy Spirit takes the time to clean us back up. He guides us, comforts us, convicts us, and counsels us. God never forgets us and will even send people our way to remind us of our value. Yes there are those occasional pennies that have been through so much that no amount of cleaning helps. We have people who fall under the same category. God values them and loves them just as much but they resist His love and refuse to allow Him in their heart. We can only wonder what brought them to such hardness, but it doesn’t mean we are to value them any less. We may need to keep our distance from them for different reasons, but it doesn’t mean we stop showing love to them or stop praying for them:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
We have to remember that the enemy will do everything he can to push us out of this race or to get us disqualified. He will utilize every one of our weaknesses, push every button, send thoughts of doubt and fear, paint a negative picture of us to others and tempt us to go off in a different direction. But just as Jesus went after that one sheep who strayed away from the flock, He will do the same to us. He will go after us and carry us back to safety. He is always looking out for us. We must do the same for each other as we are called to continue His work.
Never underestimate your value. We may lose our value in people’s eyes but we will never lose our value in Jesus’s eyes. He died on the cross for everyone which means we are all valuable to Him. If you are like the smudged penny, begin taking time to meet with God daily and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work within you. To maintain our cleanliness we must examine ourselves daily and confess to the Lord anything we have done wrong and strive to change for the better. However, we must also look at what we’ve done right so there is a balance or we risk falling into the trap of constant guilt and shame.
Always remember – you are valuable to God. If you weren’t, He wouldn’t have created you