We tend to struggle with the idea of value. We often based our value on what others think of us. Our value is placed based off of rejections and approval. I think there is another set of words that connect with, and perhaps even better summarize our real question. What is my purpose? What do I have to offer, and who is interested in it?
Humankind was created with purpose. God was intentional in the act. It wasn’t a simply reaction to an event, but rather was the final act over a giant canvas being painted on. We were also made with purpose. Adam and Eve tended to the garden and ruled over it. There was work involved, and there was satisfaction in that work. It was work meant solely to honor and please God. The purpose was clear. It was recognized. It was loved.
The fall changed everything. It changed purpose. Adam suddenly became confuse din his purpose. His purpose for a singular moment was to love Eve more than God. His value for one moment was defined to have her love him in return over God. Since then our value and pu8rpose have been thrown into turmoil and chaos.
It seems hopeless sometimes. How can we find these innate truths of ourselves in a world that constantly pulls us in the wrong direction? Matters grow even worse when we realize we cannot even trust our own heart in these matters. It is liable to go towards immediate and temporary satisfaction. We grumble and grown wherever we are because those core questions do not seem to be getting answered in the deepest part of our hearts. Who think I have value, and what is my purpose?
We can catch glimpses of these answers if we know where to look. We find it in our relationship with Christ. A relationship that is the sole definition to our value. A value that says we are priceless, but not the only one in need of this answer. That last part is the key. I have become to individualistic at times in my ideas on value. That core question can become dangerously corrupted if I am not careful. My value alone is not necessarily the most important thing.
This is where purpose comes in. We can find purpose in community. In Acts believers found purpose in community. They valued others more than themselves. They cared for the poor in their community. They fed the hungry. They clothed the poor. They went out and shared the salvation story with the world.
The purpose and value are connected, and they are not determined based off of our circumstances. We often assume this to be the case. Rejection from a loved one, a friend, a job application, a local church, a clique, or whatever it may be was always destined to fail because they are all incapable of answering these questions. Value is defined by the cross. Purpose is defined by what I do to tell everyone else about their value.