I was momentarily taken aback when my friend casually told me he was worth many million! We had been talking about housing, which provided the context, but even so, the equation with his own worth shocked me. Equating one’s value with one’s acquisitions is so far from being valid, the comparison simply astounded me.
History is full of heroes who weren’t financially blessed. Often, the truly great left wealth behind in pursuit of a higher ideal. The world was impressed when Pope Francis declined to live in the Apostolic Palace, preferring basic and more social accommodation nearby. Indigenous peoples, including our famous painter, Albert (Elea) Namatjira, weren’t even allowed to own or rent property. Their intrinsic value was not altered by their lack of possessions.
So what is our true value? My Christian tradition is valuable in this regard and I wish more of us could benefit from this understanding of being completely loved and acceptable to our Creator.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. (The Bible, Luke 12: 6-7 NRSV)
A central premise of my life is that we are loved and valued for who we are now and who we are becoming. The Easter story celebrates the immense value of each person to our Creator and gives real purpose for our lives as explained here.
Our true value is so much more than our earning capacity. Nor is our value bound to what we accomplish. No matter who we are, what we do, irrespective of personal circumstances and the vagaries of life, we are all loved; all worthy; all valued for who we are. Who can you help to understand this by the way you treat them?
Happy Easter to you!
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.