Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Do people matter?
Are people special?
Does humanity have value? If so, where do we get it from?
I live in a culture that values productivity over persons. The unborn, elderly, disabled, and "unlucky" ones have no inherited value because they cannot produce. When numbers and results are everything in a culture, then people who aren't bringing good results and causing numbers to go up will not be valued. When impressive resumes are the "golden tickets" into the "chocolate factory" of the corporate world, then people with no experience, no degree, and no "fashionable" history are pushed to the side because "what you can do" matters more than you. So, value is based solely on the external in this frame of thinking.
The idolization of work, money, and results in the western culture has led to people being valued solely on the product of their hands and mind.
We live in a time of history where more people have access to education and resources that could change their lives. Despite all of our advancements, we seem to have gone backward when it comes to valuing humanity and I think Atheism lies at the root of this problem. Why Atheism? Well, Atheism is the belief that God does not exist, therefore we were not created by God. The Big Bang Theory is one of the leading arguments for those who deny intelligent design as an explanation for the origin of our universe, for the origin of humanity.
When your worldview says that we have no reason for our existence, we are here by mere accident, and that there is no intelligent design behind the universe, then humans are created in the image of nothing. No value, no reason, no hope. Talking about our life being accidents, Bertrand Russell, an agnostic who also considered himself an atheist at times states "Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built” (1918). Wow, are you catching this? DESPAIR. This is the foundation of the Atheistic worldview that many people have who are fighting for "justice" in the 21st century.
I want to be a voice that shares a different message to you today; You matter and you have value.
You have value because you're made in the image of God.
Your value is not based on what you can do. In America's capitalist society, the one creating the product is also the one who assigns its value. I have a Judeo-Christian worldview and I believe humanity's value is assigned by God, the Creator of the universe. The story of how our world was created is recorded for us in Genesis chapters 1-2, and the climax of this story is found in chapter 1 verse 27, "'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.'" Don't believe the lie that your value is found in a position, relationship status, contributions, or abilities. You have intrinsic value because of the good God who made you.
You have value because you're loved by God.
Can you get a grasp of the fact that the God who created the universe loves you? God didn't create the universe, set a timer, and took his hands off so he might not engage our world as the Deist believe. Rather, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16 (ESV). I remember having conversations in high school about the most popular boy(s) or girl(s). Their popularity was based on how many people liked them. The God of the universe loves you and wants to have a relationship with YOU! Don't believe anyone else who tells you differently.
My mother was at a friend's house when I swung by to get her apartment keys so I could help move some things into her new place. Before I left she introduced me to her friends and asked me to pray for them before I left. I did, and after the wife, who we'll call Jo, said "I feel so special." Without skipping a beat, I looked into her eyes and said "You are. YOU MATTER TO GOD."
This blog post won't allow me to look into your eyes, but I want to tell you with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart, reader, that
"You matter to God."
(My little sister, Esther, drew the flower above for me).