Some years ago millions of Oprah Winfrey fans were waiting with great expectations for Oprah explaining to them the purpose of life—what was the real purpose of life? Surely she could tell them.
Right at the end of the one-hour show she simply looked into the camera, gave a little shrug and said: “Well, the purpose of life? You’ve got to figure that out for yourself. Look within”.
I don’t think that was much help, especially for those who felt, I’m worthless—I’m a loser. Am I worth anything? These are serious questions which many ask of themselves—maybe you’ve asked yourself the same questions.
You Need a Dream
How do we know if we have succeeded in life and become a person of worth? Is it outward beauty and good looks, intelligence, social status, or success in life? Maybe it’s to do with the amount of money I have or how much talent I think I’ve got—or what car I drive.
Our world is very superficial in the way it looks at this—the way it judges if you and I are worthwhile people. I sense that many older people in our community feel worthless because they are physically and mentally slowing down, and are discarded, or viewed as unimportant. What a tragedy!
Norman Vincent Peale said, “To achieve anything significant, everyone needs a little imagination and a big dream.” No matter who you are or what your position in life, in order for you to achieve all God intends for you, you need a dream.
But what holds us back? People like Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, who had a big vision. He wanted to recruit John Scully to his team in the early years. John Scully was president of Pepsi. Steve said to him, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want to change the world?” He eventually did become CEO of Apple Corporation. Sometimes we need a word from someone we trust to say, You can do better than this.
We Are Made in the Image of God
Robert Schuller was right when he said one day, “You should have proper self-esteem, dignity and self-worth because you were made in the image of God”. Now, we’re starting to make sense. This is the message that makes all the difference. The Old Testament says God breathed life into the man Adam, and the man started breathing (Genesis 2:7). God created you and me, and because he did that, we matter. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise—you do make a difference in the world, and God loves you so much.
The popular car bumper sticker of some years back said, God made me and God don’t make no junk. In 1 John 3:1 (CEV) we read something else very positive: ”Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are”. No matter how worthless you may feel, remember God says differently—“you are my child and I want you to be part of my family”. He looks at us as his children, part of his large family. It confirms to me that my worth is not defined by my job or how much money I may have, or how busy I might be. My worth as an individual is defined by his love for me.
The Bible says that we are created in the image of God. What does that mean? Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Suffice it to say that God has woven within you and me, the threads of greatness and significance. After all, the best known Bible verse says “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die” (John 3:16 -CEV) Is there anything better than that? Each day can have significance for you.
I heard someone say, Little is much when God is involved. We may think we are ordinary kinds of people—and that we can’t do anything much. Think again—God is a master of taking ordinary people and doing extraordinary things with their lives.
(To be continued in God Says You are Worthwhile – Part 2)