I’m writing this just a few days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, so the United States right now is embroiled in conflict. We’ve had protests and riots and various other things. And it causes me to ask, every time this comes up, why do we not value human life more? Why do we not place a true, infinite kind of value on each person that we see?
James tells us that believers in Christ must not show favoritism. And he goes on to define what that means – that you cannot look at someone and determine their value. And the reason that’s true is because their value was determined before time ever began.
Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image and our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So, God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God he created them. Male and female He created them.” (NIV) It goes on to say, “God blessed them.”
As a Christian – a follower of Jesus – I believe very strongly that every single person who walks the face of this earth was created by God in his image. No matter what you’re like, no matter where you’re from, no matter how much money you have or how little you have, no matter the shade or tone of your skin, no matter your background, history, heritage, or culture… no matter what, you are infinitely valuable. Your life has infinite value and worth and dignity because God put his signature on you. He put his stamp on you.
Here’s the challenge. For us as believers, the challenge is to assign infinite value to everyone you see this week.
The person you see that you might normally size up and begin to assume that they’ve made a lot of mistakes in life. Or you might begin to assume that they couldn’t possibly be a follower of Jesus. Or you assume that something is bad about them. To back up and say, you know what? No matter their story, no matter their background, no matter what they’re like, every human being bears the image of God, the signature of the artist and architect on their lives, and I want to honor them.
That is a basic foundational starting place when it comes to how we regard our fellow human beings. Regardless of ethnicity, regardless of socioeconomic status, you are infinitely valuable to God. So am I. So is everyone that you’re going to meet today.
And until we embrace that and focus on that in our culture, in our society, some people will always be regarded as throwaway, as expendable, as less valuable than others. But we know that’s simply not true.
So just remember: You are infinitely valuable to God.