Ascribing Unsurpassable Worth

By Mallorie Miller

November 16, 2016

My friend Pete shared a powerful word from the Lord at The Well a few weeks ago. One of my favorite things about Pete is his tendency to share profound truths in a nonchalant way. We’ll just be walking down the sidewalk and he’ll say something like, “Have you ever thought about how the enormity and intricacy of God’s love is demonstrated by creation?” And I’ll respond with a thoughtful, “Uh, yeah, totally.” His message at The Well was multi-faceted, with many bright and shining truths. One of those truths struck me to the core. He said, casually in passing thought (of course) “do you ascribe unsurpassable worth to everyone around you?” His message moved on but that question continued to echo in me.

Do I ascribe unsurpassable worth to everyone around me?

Do I see the person in front of me as a unique representation of the Imago Dei, the image of God? Do I see her as precious, treasured by her maker (our Father)? Do I feel honored to be in his presence? Or do I tarnish him with my judgment or, in a more subtle way, my indifference?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what Jesus meant when he said, “Love your neighbor” and the accompanying parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s a cheat to say, “Well of course if I saw someone beat up at the side of the road I’d stop and help him. I must be doing okay at this ‘love your neighbor’ thing.” The reality is that I pass by people every day.

There is a desperate of need for Jesus (and his love, justice, grace, truth, restoration, guidance and reconciliation) in the world around us. Do I stop to see the needs in the people around me? I believe Baba (Father) will show me when I ask him. What would happen if I submitted my task-demanding thoughts to thoughts regarding the well-being of the person in front of me? What would happen if I became proactive with the enormous acceptance, love and grace of Jesus? What if every day became like a holy version of “Oprah’s favorite things” episode? YOU get attention and YOU get hospitality and YOU get encouragement!!! YOU get a reminder of your identity as a son or daughter of God! And YOU get a reminder! Everybody gets a reminder!!!!!!!!!!!

Melissa Helser is an incredibly gifted worship leader. She also has a bone disease that keeps her is almost constant pain. She talks about how she has choose to live above that reality - and live into the reality that the very LIFE that everyone needs lives inside her. She tells about how she will pound her chest with her fist and belt out an old hymn at the top of her lungs: “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me! Causes the lame to walk and the blind to see! Opens prison doors, set the captives free! Yes I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me!”

Jesus tells his followers, “freely you have received, freely give.” If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, then He now lives in you - not in some abstract theological way - in a very REAL way. You have everything you need to give abundant life to those around you. We live in scarcity mindset culture - we can never really have enough. And it can make us self-centered. It can make us feel don’t have enough, and therefore can’t give abundantly to others. But we can receive what we need from Jesus. And then we can pass it along generously to others. We can pound on our chests and sing, too.

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