We all long to have value, to feel worthy of love and respect. There are two kinds of value, however: ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extrinsic’ value. If we say something has ‘intrinsic’ value, we mean that it has value in and of itself – it is valuable simply because it is what it is. We find intrinsic value, for example, in things that are beautiful, costly or rare. A painting by Vincent Van Gogh has intrinsic value because it is a thing of rare artistic wonder. On the other hand, we say that a thing has ‘extrinsic’ value when it has value simply because it can perform a certain function. This kind of value is based on the performance of some task, or living up to some expectation. Extrinsic value is fickle: once a thing stops performing properly we discard it. There are millions, even billions, of people in this world who feel that the only value they have is the extrinsic kind. If they stop ‘doing the job’, if their performance fails to match up, they think they’ll be thrown onto the scrap heap. Human beings crave intrinsic value. We want to be loved and prized for who we are, not for what we can do.
Romans 3:23-24 ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ (NIV)
That’s the good news of Christianity. It’s not by our works that we’re made right with God. He doesn’t love us because we’ve earned it. His love, his acceptance, is based purely on his grace, his favour. We were fallen, yes, but we still worth dying for, simply because he chose to love us! You have intrinsic value, because God thinks so much of you – don’t forget that.
Prayer: ‘Lord, thank you that I do not earn my way to heaven. So, the pressure is off. You have done the hard work for me. Thank you that I have value because God loves me.’
Let me ask you a few things. Why are we most alive when we are pursuing a great dream? Why is it that we need a reason to live? Why do we need to feel that we are in some way unique?
Why is it that when we conclude our lives don’t matter, we lose the will to live? The maddening reality is that each and every one of us has been created with a soul needing to become – to become something – something better, something different, something special, something unique, something admired, something valued, something more than we are…
You are a unique creation made by God to live and not simply exist. Your soul longs to find its ultimate purpose. It will not rest until you do. Your soul craves destiny. Your soul desires. It always will. You were created as a creative being. You were made to grow, to dream, to achieve. Your soul is letting you know you come from God and your life is intended to be God-sized and God-inspired.