My culture is on a perpetual quest for dignity. We want to be regarded, respected and valued. We teach children to respect their elders (and rightly so). Unfortunately, we often tie a person’s dignity to his or her wealth, possessions, or position. Our culture worships wealth and gives honour to those who have it.
To this end, we pursue wealth and status. We are proud of our connections with the rich and powerful. All these make us valuable and respected by other members of society. Because our significance and value are built on these, a slight change to them scares us. Our greatest fear is to lose the possessions or the position, and we will fight and kill in order to retain these advantages. Political office holders will loot and embezzle funds out of fear of losing society’s esteem. We must amass as much as we can, for without them, we are nothing.
The irony is that what we seek we already possess. Both significance and status are already ours; our sinful state has just blinded us to it. The fact that I am created in God’s own image already confers value, honour and prestige upon me. I do not need to seek these by acquiring possessions, position or fame. I am already valuable, for I was formed in the likeness of the King of Heaven. I do not need to be wealthy in order to be important; I already am. I do not care to know the President; I am connected to the King who appointed him.
This truth is so liberating. Think about it for a moment. The great, powerful and awesome Creator made us like Himself (of course, God is still infinitely greater than humans). What could be greater than this! Talk about amazing! Among the diverse works of creation, only humans had the incredible privilege of being made in the Creator’s own image. In addition, He gave them oversight over the rest of creation.
What other point of significance can I seek? What can possessions give me? What prestige can fame give me? These all are ephemeral – unreliable at best. Political change and death can wipe away our relationships. Economic instability can diminish our assets. What about our positions? They are transitory. Therefore, to build our significance on these is like erecting a mansion of sand.
God invites us to recover our worth and dignity through a restored relationship with Him. He calls us to receive and trust in the Saviour He has given to humanity – Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus, we receive even greater honour: we become God’s own children!
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1 NIV)
Dayo is a Christian writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a vision of seeing Africa transformed through the Christian worldview and he pursues this through a teaching and publishing website, The Christian Mind. Dayo is married to Omolade and they have one son.