The world’s richest man, Bill Gates, has a worth of about $77.8 billion, according to Forbes. The world tells us that this makes him worth more than any other person on the planet. But the world does not define our worth. Our worth is not measured in something as fragile and temporary as money but in something as eternal as the grace of God. And according to the God of the universe, we are worth the blood of Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to let the world make you feel worthless. We strive to meet these impossible expectations set by society, and we let the opinions of others blind us from God’s unconditional love. We compare ourselves to other Christians, to other students, to other people. And we allow our insecurities and fears of inadequacy to replace the assurance and strength guaranteed through Christ.
We let the world set standards for us, and we strive to exceed them. This doesn’t seem like a problem; in fact, it sounds admirable. The truth is, it’s OK to have ambition. It’s OK to be determined and to set high goals for yourself. I believe God created us to do so. But the problem is that sometimes we place too much stock in pleasing people when all we really need to do is please God.
I think passionately pursuing dreams is the mark of beautiful life. But I also think that we need to evaluate what is truly important and worthy of our time. The world can sometimes give us idols concealed as desires. And when we start placing our self-worth in these idols instead of in God, we waste our lives pursuing the wrong things.
My idol was a little strange, I suppose. For years, I let something as silly and temporary as grades determine my self-worth. Ridiculous, right? The truth is, God doesn’t love my grades. He loves me. And grades have no effect on that. God will never stop loving me. And I would much rather be remembered for the content of my character than my GPA. I want people to see my passions, and I want to live and love like Christ. So my worth is no longer found in a transcript, but rooted in Scripture. And the Bible says that even though I am imperfect, I am loved so much that Jesus died for me.
Psalms 139:14 assures us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…” And I believe that. I believe that God is the most beautiful designer in the universe. I believe that God creates each of us to bring our own magic and beauty into the world. God loves us just the way we are, and He created us each with specific purposes.
The King of all Kings created us to learn, to inspire, to grow, to thrive, to love and dance and sing and LIVE. Measure your life in love, not grades, not popularity or money or power or anything this life tells you is important. So whatever your idol is, get rid of it because it does not define you.
You may not be Bill Gates, but you are still a son or daughter of the King. And that eternal worth will never change.