Our Value Does Not Come From Ourselves
Human reasoning suggests that if you do good things, you will become a good person. But we all know from experience that this is simply not true. If it were true, we would have done away with murder and other crimes a long time ago. The reality is that the more we humans try to become good, the more we realize that it just doesn’t work. This philosophy only leads to frustration because it ties man’s value to what he can or can’t do. In God’s kingdom, our value lies simply in who we are through Him. This brings hope.
Jesus illustrates this principle with his encounter with the Samaritan women at the well in John 5. In this story we are told that she has some major life issues. She has had many husbands and she is not married to the man she is now living with. She’s been burned by religion. She’s at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder as both a woman and a Samaritan. Men have failed her, sex and relationships have failed her, and religion has left her empty.
Jesus Listened, Gave Hope, Showed Grace
As you read this encounter, notice not only what Jesus says to her, but also what he doesn’t say to her. Both are very important. Yes, he does let her know that he knows all about her, but he doesn’t tell her to stop doing this or that. He doesn’t give her a speech about the law of Moses and the Commandments. He doesn’t even tell her, “Go and sin no more!” Jesus understood that the key to changing her behavior was to give her Kingdom value. He did this in several profound ways.
First, he listened to her and gave her his attention. This won her trust. Second, he offered her hope which changed her thinking. Third, he offered her grace which opened her heart. Through the simple, profound act of giving her eternal value, this woman was changed. This change was so profound that the entire village came out to see for themselves who this man was that did this.
The Value We Have in God’s Kingdom
When we come to grips with the true, immense value we have in God’s kingdom, that changes our behavior. Because she now had real value, this woman no longer had to look for it in sex and relationships. Yes, she had to work on developing new daily habits which I’m sure wasn’t easy, but she now understood that only Jesus could change her. Not any other man, not behavioral modification, not rehab or self-help. Value changes us from the inside out. When my heart is changed, my behavior naturally changes.
God wants you to know that you have immense value in his kingdom. That is why he went to the cross for you and laid down his life. He did this so that you would know how much you are worth to him. Embrace your eternal value and let that begin to change you from the inside out.