We’ve all done it before – maybe almost everyday. We’re standing in the line at the grocery store looking at all the magazines, and ... “oh my word! I can’t believe she’s in rehab again!” We think to ourselves. “When is that girl going to get her life together?!” Almost annoyed at the interruption of the on-going commentary in our head, the person in front of us walks away with their groceries and it’s our turn to pay.
Or maybe for many of us, it’s more like this... “Oh my gosh. She is gorgeous. And so in- shape! What? It says she had her baby only 3 months ago...and she looks like THAT?! I haven’t even had a baby yet and I can’t manage to get that trim!”
What is the common denominator here?
We are living in a culture that doesn’t give humans the dignity that God created them to have. Why is this? Because if one believes that we are the product of mere chance and time – no greater than a worm in the soil, what dignity is there to be had?
The sad part in all of this is that those of us who have said we believe that God created us in His divine image and gave us purpose and meaning in life, should live differently than the world. But unfortunately, we dish out the same criticisms and believe the same lies that our culture does.
Our society has become deficient in dignity-givers and fat in dignity-takers. Millions of dollars are made yearly in making fun of celebrities; photographing them in their most vulnerable moments; spreading rumors about their personal lives – all so that we can feel like we have it together.
Don’t forget the billions of dollars spent every year on porn – the art of stripping a man or woman of their soul and portraying them as a piece of meat to be preyed on. Their dignity is stolen – not to mention their innocence.
Unsuspectingly, the very media that delivers us photos of people that we can gossip about, also delivers us images that make us feel devoid of dignity and worth. We’ve all seen the pictures of the airbrushed models or super-toned actors and left feeling like we have nothing to offer.
Church is not a safety zone either. We gossip about our worship leader’s new haircut, “so and so’s” weird quirks, and how we wish our pastor would preach on something else, etc. We forget that these are the precious brothers and sisters that God has given us to walk hand-in-hand with for the cause of the Gospel. Instead, they become our competition; our fodder for gossip; our laughingstocks; our after-church entertainment.
In C.S. Lewis’ book, Prince Caspian, the prince tells Aslan that he wishes he came from a more honorable lineage. Aslan replies, “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve, and that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth.”
God created us with inherent dignity. Why? Because we are created in his image. Yes, sin has marred the perfection that God once had in mind for us, but this does not strip the fact that we are still made by God in his image. Psalm 139 says that he knitted us together in our mother’s womb. God didn’t make humans on a big factory line in China and sell us wholesale. We are each, individually, made just how he wanted us.
Not only that, we all were created with a special purpose that only we can accomplish with the giftings God gave us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” He had in mind, before the foundations of the world, special tasks that he wanted you to do. And he created you (and everyone else) with unique qualities to fulfill that mission.
Who are we to judge the worth of another? God knit us all in our mothers womb, and bestowed on us the task of being his image bearers on earth. Also, God died for us all because none of us has what it takes to wash our own sins away. The ground is level at the foot of the cross – no one is more worthy than anyone else.
As believers, let’s change the pattern of things. We know the Truth – and this Truth has set us free to become givers of dignity rather than takers. Instead of buying into the world’s lies about what makes someone valuable, let’s show the world that everyone is valuable in God’s eyes.
“Speak evil of no one, avoid quarrelling, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward