Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority. Matthew 12:38 (NLT)
Indicators of Worth – Signs Series – Part 3
Signs aren’t just used for direction. They’re also a value indicator. A sign tells us how much something is worth. Helpful in a supermarket. Not helpful on the street or in our homes or in schools or in the lunch room at work.
We’re always trying to display our value to others:
Look at how cool I am?!
Look at how great my work is?!
Look at how awesome my life is turning out?!
We think that all these signs = valid human experience = deserving of love belonging. We do the same to others: “Show me what your worth?” we ask as we scroll Instagram, read Twitter, watch someone walk into a room… we take clothing, presence, physicality, and more, as signs of value.
Growing up, and well into my twenties, I felt like all of the world was yelling at me: Show me what your worth!
I hid my imperfections and tried to capitalize on my strengths. I revealed only what I thought was valuable, and kept everything else hidden. I was determined to have a “valid human experience” deserving of love and belonging.
I wanted to be all grown up so people would take me seriously.
But Jesus said; “Have faith like a child.” (Matt 18:3).
I wanted to fit into the “it” crowd, be part of the “A” team.
But Jesus proudly had lunch with the most hated man in town. (Luke 19).
I tried to say and do all the right things to get praise and accolade.
But Jesus challenged a guy who did everything perfectly and told him that he still lacked… (Mark 10).
The signs we look for, and display, to determine and project value, are not accurate indicators of worth.
A sign is useful if it helps us figure out how many apples we can afford. But we should never rely on them when it comes to valuing others and/or ourselves. The sign, or signature, of our value, dwells on a layer beneath the surface, behind the material.
There is no sign you can display, no sign that you can look for in others, that will tell you how much someone is worth. There is only the base value, which is higher than anything you can think of, regardless of what any of the signs say. You, me, we are priceless. Since birth. We have nothing to prove; there is no sign to display.
I see value everywhere I look. It’s in eyes and hair and smiles and hands. It’s in misspelled words, and tantrums on the floor. It’s in meals and glasses of wine around awkwardly put together tables. It's in sleepless nights and long warm mornings in the sun. It’s in the dark and in the light. It’s in prisons and hospitals and schools and parliaments and courtrooms and coffee shops. It’s in churches and temples and mosques and cathedrals. It’s in Australia and America and Israel and Africa. The world is teeming, brimming over with worth and value. Miracles and wonder! Everything trying to tell you otherwise is just smoke and mirrors; signs designed to distract you.
Jesus was asked for a sign of his worth and validity (Matt 12). And if anyone could give it, it was him. I would peel back the sky and empty the ocean to prove my worth. But not Jesus. He performed miracles and told people to keep them secret. And when asked to prove himself, he never did.
His life was the sign. And only those who could see through the smoke and mirrors witnessed it in all its miraculous glory.
Go to Part 4 – Sign Seekers »
Written by Lizzy Milani
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