I was raised in the United States and have always been surrounded by love, a caring family and a Christian faith-filled community.  I had a good education.  Out of college, I found a good job.

My earliest career goal was to accumulate enough wealth so I could live a life of comfort and convenience.  As I started to achieve success, I started to selfishly see myself with more value than those who had less.

Does someone with wealth have more value than someone who was raised poor?

There are those who are born into families with more and those who are born into families with less.

The common theme in all our lives – despite how we were raised – is that we all have broken God’s heart. Better said, we have all hurt someone, and we have all been hurt by someone else.  The pain is real.  It transcends the rich and the poor – everyone has experienced sadness, anger, shame and remorse.

Part of the reason we hurt each other is the lack of understanding of the great value we each have.

In Genesis 1:26-27, we are shown that God created man and woman in His image – God’s image!  What?

God is so amazingly creative! There never has been and there will never be another you __________ (fill in your name).

How can God make billions of people in the past and billions of people in the future and still not copy me?  OK, I am starting to see that maybe I am … unique. OK, if I am this one-of-a-kind person and made in God’s image … maybe I am special.  Yes, I guess I am more valuable than I thought!  So what does that have to do with the poor?  Everything!

Yes, the truth is that you and I are very special, very unique, and have great, great value.  But what about people who are criminals – they have less value because of their crimes, right?

I mean, if I do good for others, God notices those good acts … and thus God deems me to be more valuable because I did good works. Surely I’m more valuable than a felon.  Actually, that is a big lie.

Society will teach us that the haves are more valuable than the have-nots, the good are more valuable than the bad, and the rich are more valuable than the poor.  All lies!  The Truth is that God created all men and women equal … with great amazing value … no matter how little money you have.  Your value (dignity) and my value (dignity) do not change in God’s eyes.  He still desires us to love Him and love our neighbor as ourselves.

The truth is that we all have hurt one another, because we do not see the amazing value God sees in each of us.  We tend to focus on our own needs and lose focus on the wonderful, valuable people around us.  That includes the beautiful poor.  In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says, “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers or sisters, you did for me.”

Lean in and listen well to the poor – someone with great and amazing value is in your presence!

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empower those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.