There is a lot of division in our world today. People have difference—we are different—but sometimes I think we focus too much on the differences instead of on what we have in common. We will continue to be divided as long as we ignore the value we have in how much we have in common.
Today’s verse talks about this in light of the rich and the poor. What they have in common is greater than how they are different. Our verse today is Proverbs 22:2 – “The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all.” I love this verse. Sometimes we equate our differences into different values. We look at wealthy people as better than poor people because of their monetary worth. Instead of ascribing to be people of honor and integrity, we ascribe to be people who obtain: wealth, possessions, etc. But we need to be careful not to ascribe value to people based on how much money they have, because our verse today reminds us that we are all made by the same Creator. We all get our value because we are His, not from anything else.
One day I was talking to kids in my Sunday School class; we were talking about the image of God and what makes each of us special. One boy raised his hand and shared, “Mr. Brown, I’m special because I have autism.” And I reminded him that yes, he has autism, but that’s not what makes him special or valuable. He is valuable because he is made in God’s image. Our looks, our talents, or anything else…these don’t give us value. Only God does.
One day, while I was at Starbucks, I saw a man heading toward me. He was missing a shoe, and looked pretty poor and ragged. And I wondered what was going to happen. I was a little uncomfortable. And then God reminded me suddenly that this man was still created in God’s image, and that he is of equal worth. Now, because of sin, choices made all the way back in the Garden of Eden, this image has been marred, but the value has always been there. Satan wants it to be covered, but the value is still there. In light of this, don’t look down on others because of a lack of success, or elevate them because they are successful. This isn’t where our value comes from. Also, keep in mind that we’re all accountable to the same God. Rich people will be accountable for what they have and who they choose to be, just as the poor will be accountable for what they have and who they choose to be.
So don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel less than, because you have been made in the image of God. Your value comes from him. “The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all,” (Proverbs 22:2).
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