Have you read the story, “The Prince and the Pauper”?
Set in 16th century England, a poor boy, named Tom, and Prince Edward VI switch places (they’re the same age and similar in appearance) just to experience what life is like on two opposite sides of society. Then, hilarity ensues (surprising, they end up hating it).
Now, what if the father of Prince Edward, King Henry VIII (the fat one who headed the Church of England and had 6 wives), held authority over not only England and Ireland but the world? Edward would hold a far more important role in this situation, having the entire world as an inheritance, and the fact that he would switch places with a pauper appears insane; why would a person who has access to all of the world’s power, and will one day rule it, want to live as if he were “nothing” and have “nothing”?
As crazy as this idea would seem, this is similar to what happens when believers forget their self-worth given by God, where they are co-heirs with Christ and have the entire world as an inheritance.
Last Sunday, guest speaker Kit spoke about how society is “full of stories”, and how the “story” that others tell about ourselves affects our self-image. He mentioned how his self-image was tied to his father, and later in life, the congregation he was pastoring, as his ego was getting the best of him while he was receiving praise. He concluded his sermon with the powerful statement of “challenging the story about you told by the world”, which I believe is pertinent to the issue of our identity in Christ: it doesn’t matter how the world views you because you are royalty according to God.
Nobody is immune to having problems with self-worth; we do live in a fallen world after all, and the deceiver is really good in instilling self-doubt in us. This is especially true when it comes to us Christians, who are saved from our sins and loved by God, even if the bible describes us as “highly valuable”. I’ll use the New Testament to describe how God views us:
Here are 4 labels which illustrate the value of being a Christian:
Saint–1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:2, Revelation 20:9
o Holy – Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 3:17, Ephesians 1:4, 5:27, 2 Timothy 1:9, 2:21, Titus 1:8, Hebrews 3:1, 1 Peter 1:15, Revelation 22:11
Son (or daughter) of God– Matthew 5:9, Luke 20:36, Romans 8:14, Galatians 3:26
Priest (my favorite) – 1 Peter 2:5, 2:9
These labels aren’t arbitrary; since they were written by New Testament authors, and since we believe that they were inspired by God to write these words, then I have little doubt that He has given us these roles. (“Priest” is my favorite because I could identify with it most of the time more than the others). To emphasize the importance of these roles, I’ll give a brief definition of each:
o Holy – someone who is dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred
Sons (or daughters) of God– an adopted child of God Almighty. Since He is considered a “king”, this would make a “son” or “daughter” of God a prince or princess
Priest – one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God(that’s why I relate the most to this one: prayer and worship!)
How valuable must God think of us! If only we could remember this whenever we feel insecure, we’ll have little problems with self-image. If only I could remember that, as a saintly-priestly prince, I have an ever-lasting, intimate relationship with the King of the universe (this results in having access to the source of heavenly resources), an abundant inheritance (which I will share with Christ), and a ceaseless kinship with other children of God (an eternal family).
So, since God has adopted us into his royal family, we mustn’t worry about insecurities or how others view us, because as a prince or princess of God’s Kingdom, you are vindicated, loved, and highly valued.