A few posts back I began telling the story of a young girl from a Russian clan, who made a very serious mistake that brought shame to her Chieftain father (see What Are we Really Worth). I didn’t tell you the whole story. In the place of complete failure, broken law, and personal embarrassment of a father, a daughter would discover what she was really was worth to her father. Would her father use his position and let her off the hook thereby making a mockery of justice? On the other hand, would he really let his precious little girl take all 40 lashes for her crime? What would a Chieftain, who was admired for his justice and kindness, do?
The day came for justice to be satisfied for the girl’s crimes against the clan. She was taken from her family by the clan leaders, and tied to a post where her cloak was ripped open to expose her back. Her father did nothing. As the judge raised his hand to whip her, her father held up his hand to stop the proceedings. Silently he took off his own shirt, walked over to his daughter, wrapped his body around her in a bear hug, and then instructed the judge to “Begin!” The judge delivered the punishment for the daughter’s failure, and her father received all 40 lashes for her crime while protecting her from every blow. In that moment she, and everyone in her clan, had a public demonstration of what she was really worth to her father.
This is just how God our Father has publicly proven our worth to Him. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to wrap His arms of love around us and take our place on the cross where he received the full brunt of the consequences of our sins. He did this, not only to set us free, but to forever define our worth. God believes that you and I are actually worth what it cost Him to have a relationship with us. This means that we must no longer allow anyone or anything else to define our worth, because God alone has won that right. We are a people who’ve been set free to shout from the rooftops that we matter to God. We are a people who’ve been set free to live with a holy-swagger – knowing that our worth has been completely and permanently defined on a cross. Nothing could ever add to it or take away from it.
Don’t let your suspicion of God win the mind battle over the facts. Don’t allow the suspicious beliefs telling you that you are worthless and that since God knows everything there is to know about you He can’t think you’re worth very much. These are not the facts presented in Scripture. The fact is God has once-for-all-time publicly demonstrated what we are worth to Him. We need to learn how to live in the reality of that fact every day. Instead of being people who run from God when we fail, we can be people who run to God all the time, especially when we fail, because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what we’re worth to Him.