The value of humanity is enforced by the pages of the Bible. Creation of mankind is only on the first page, so imagine how much more evidence there is! God placed Adam and Eve in a garden with him to love life together. God resided in a Temple to live with his people. God became a human, Jesus Christ. God as a human died for human beings and our screw-ups. God wants to reside within his people via the Holy Spirit in our bodies. Heaven is prepared for his people where God will be in a garden again to love life together with us. The infinite love of God for human beings is the basis for our self-love.
You deserve respect and a good life. Not that these should be handed to you—you are not a child—but you deserve the pride that comes in seeking and establishing a good life.
Take hold of your dignity and live like you have it. See the value in yourself that Jesus sees. It was the Lord Jesus who implied our infinite worth.
(Mat 16:26 ESV) For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
The questions are rhetorical: there is literally nothing you can give in return for the soul and you will have no profit in exchanging your soul for anything. That means there is nothing in this universe more valuable than your soul. The biggest diamond, the largest continent, the most lavish palace, the nicest car, the bank account with the most zeroes—it's all worthless compared to your soul. Did you know you have one of the most valuable things in existence inside you? Or should I say, Did you know you are one of the most valuable things in existence?
No matter how you treat you, you are valuable. And value beckons special treatment.
I have a dear friend, a widow who keeps her house spotless. Her joy is in keeping a nice home. When she invites me to her house to eat I never quite relax for fear of making a mess of things. Every pillow is at the right angle, every picture frame dusted, and I wouldn't be surprised if her closet was organized by color. But she invites me to eat and I can't turn down a home-cooked meal with a good friend. Out she brings a wonderful meal on the nicest dinnerware you have ever seen. I did not ask how much the dinnerware was worth, not because of etiquette, because I feared I would faint at the answer. She took the time to talk about the craft and history of each set of silverware and which antique shop she found each plate. My wife points out how I eat like a barbarian at home but not at this widow's house. Using a fork that might be worth over fifty dollars changes a man, at least for a meal. I missed the plastic plates we use in our home, ones that are built to last, not to look nice. I got no fear with a plastic plate and a Tupperware bowl, but fine-china makes you eat carefully. Value beckons special treatment.
Imagine yourself as the fine-china, not the tupperware. You, a creation of God with his special image imprinted upon you, are fine-china and you should treat yourself carefully. In the way that you don't treat fine-china in a cavalier manner, treat yourself with respect.
Paul made a similar point in his second letter to Timothy,
(2Ti 2:20-21 ESV) Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
Of course, paper plates have less value and it does not matter how you treat them so much because they have little value. But you are careful with the nice dinnerware because of its value. The value decides how you treat it. Well when people are infinitely valuable, how then should they be treated? More to the point, how should you treat yourself?
My friend Billy—bless his heart—has this terrible habit of talking poorly about himself. "I can't do anything right," "I'm just a screw up," or "Everything I do is crummy." One time I put my hand on his shoulder and gently said, "Hey, don't talk about my friend like that. You know if I heard someone talking about you the way you are talking about you, I would stand up for you and say, 'Don't talk about my friend like that.' I won't put up with it from other people and I won't put up with it from you. Billy is awesome."
Because people are made in the image of God they deserve respect. Don't be cursing yourself because you are struggling or you had a bad day. Let the adult-side of your mind analyze the issues and encourage the child-side of your mind that is throwing a tantrum. Listen to your reason and conscience, and put your emotions in time-out until they learn to behave themselves. Walk by the Spirit who gives guidance through his inspired word (Rom 8:12-14; 2Pe 1:21), and let the flesh know its place (Rom 8:13; Col 3:5).
Bobby Price was born and raised by Christian parents in Perrin, Texas. Bobby decided early in life to become a preacher of God's word. He attended the Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas where he graduated in 2015 with his Bachelors of Biblical Studies with a focus in Congregational Ministry. Afterwards, he interned for a year at the valley view Church of Christ in Jonesboro, AR. He is currently working on his Masters of Biblical Studies, through the Sunset International Bible Institute Graduate School.