Mindsetter Moment: “Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me” Ps 40:11. It seems like mercy, which essentially means undeserved kindness, isn’t a word we hear much these days. We all want justice, but our culture doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about mercy. However, when we see God show up in a culture, it is almost always with mercy that runs counter to the narrative of the day.
In Matthew 5:7, standing on a hill surrounded by people of every group and background, Jesus said “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” We all need mercy, and Jesus gives us the formula for finding it; giving others the underserved kindness we ourselves want. Mercy to the group that doesn’t think like us? Yes. Mercy in the face of injustice? Yes. When we show mercy to others, God shows mercy to us.
2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Reverend Billy Graham is credited with saying, “the ground is level at the foot of the cross.” He meant that we are all the same when we stand before Christ and our differences shouldn’t divide us. Several thousand years before Reverend Graham’s quote, a wisdom writer penned this proverb:
“Rich and poor have this in common, the Lord is Maker of them all.”
It is one of the great things about God’s story, just when we start to get excited about status or starry-eyed over celebrity, we get a reminder like this.
Moses spent years herding sheep. Mary was an unwed mother. Jesus got in trouble for eating with “sinners,” and the apostle Paul spent a lot of time in the slammer.
Jesus tells a story in the book of Matthew about a vineyard owner who hires groups of workers at different times but then pays them all the same amount. Those who worked longer got upset at the pay disparity. The vineyard owner asks, “are you jealous because I am generous?” Jesus finishes the story by saying, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last” Matthew 20:16.
What applies to me?
In a world that ranks us based on social media followers and our number of likes, it can be easy to forget our value as “mere humans.” That’s the really cool thing about God. To Him, our mere human status is exactly what He is looking for.
Did you know that how much or how little you have in your bank account does not change your value in God’s eyes? Did you know that God doesn’t determine our worth based on size, beauty, IQ, or number of friends? We can get so caught up in achieving the world’s status and trying to “get ahead” that we don’t realize in all our “getting ahead” that we might be leaving who God created us to be far behind.
Take a deep breath, and let it all out. You are not behind or starting too late. You are not forgotten, and you haven’t been overlooked. God is the God of the great reversal. Our status in the world’s eyes does not determine our value in God’s eyes. Seek HIS approval today, and rest in the knowledge that who you are is more than enough because of Him.
Write it out: What makes you valuable to God? Write these down. Think about His creation. Think about your relationship to Him now that you’ve made Jesus Lord of your life. Think about where you’ll be on the other side of this life. Let these thoughts guide your responses.
Pray it out: With your list above, begin to pray about each item that makes you valuable to God. Begin to ask God to help you BELIEVE those realities, so they aren’t just words on a page, but a truth you can experience.
Live it out: Let God’s great value of you, drive your thoughts, decisions, and actions.