Two Contrasting Truths
Within Christian theology there are two great truths that seem to stand in conflict with each other.
On the one hand we know that within our fallen nature there is no good thing. Across the world and throughout history we see the proof that man is capable of bad things, even horrific things! And within ourselves we feel the downward pull.
But the second truth is that we are of great, inestimable value! While we were yet sinners Jesus died for us. A person does not sacrifice his own son for something that has no value. We can’t fully comprehend the depths of his love and exactly how valuable he thinks that we are.
Are we able to see both of these truths and think about both of them properly?
What Difference Does it Make?
It makes a huge difference in how a person lives his life.
It is quite possible for a person to completely misjudge himself and to think more highly of himself than he ought to think. When that is the case, his estimation of his own value is not God-focused at all. Rather, when he compares himself to others, he might feel that he excels in appearance and ability. Or maybe he has managed to accomplish many good things, and therefore he deems himself to be good and valuable. This kind of megalomaniacal person becomes insufferable to be around. He is not well-rounded socially. And he certainly isn’t capable of true love for others.
But it is also possible for a person to think too low of himself. When he compares himself to others, he feels that he falls short. Maybe other people tell him that he is worthless. Maybe in the past someone has hurt him so deeply that he doesn’t believe in his own value. Or maybe he is a perfectionist, using his own record of actions to determine his value. When he makes a mistake he brands himself as a bad person and a failure. This kind of person becomes depressed, locked in a joyless world of hopelessness.
Believing the truth
But the truth shines clear. In fact the Truth says that “when I am lifted up (on the cross) I will draw all men unto me.” THAT is where we need to be!! People want to be loved. They need to be valued. And in Jesus, they see the truth. Across the globe people feel the inexorably powerful pull of LOVE. From north, south, east, and west Jesus draws the masses to himself.
For some of us, we have developed a value system based on our actions. When we develop a good track record, we feel valuable. Maybe we have gotten into the rut of comparing ourselves to others. For others, hurtful experiences control our emotions. We feel the pain deeply, and because the pain is so vivid, we draw wrong conclusions about our own worthlessness.
Without delving into psycho-analysis and digging up the past, I believe that we can find great help for our lives by believing the truth! We need to accept Jesus’ love. We need to believe in our own value! Against all emotions or habits that would tell us otherwise, we need to cling to the truth. When those emotions well up, we need to firmly state the ever-abiding truth that through no actions of ours, but just because of who he is, He loves us. And we are valuable to him!
O HOW HE LOVES US! O HOW HE LOVES ME!