As a body, the Western Church tends to look a lot like everyone else. We buy the same things, climb the same ladders of success, and treat others according to some invisible caste system. We have our moments when we behave in a manner more pleasing to Christ, but by and large, my observation is we live our lives and treat people in much the same way our surrounding culture does.
That isn’t how Jesus lived. He had an entirely different agenda and saw everyone as having unsurpassable worth. He didn’t segregate or differentiate. He simply loved. This is how we are called to look at and treat others. Every soul has the highest value in God’s Kingdom.
When was the last time you walked down your street looking at each person you passed as if they had unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God? Instead, we make snap judgements about them based on the way they are dressed, what they look like, or with whom they are associating. Since all people are precious to God, they must also be precious to us. The very same people we are judging or even ignoring are the same folks who are desperate for the love and hope of Jesus.
Our mission is not to turn away from those in need, but rather to embrace them. We must humble ourselves and be more interested in others than we are in ourselves. Being a disciple of Jesus means we look first to Christ, then to others, and finally to ourselves. Until we see every other person as having unsurpassable worth, we will not be able to establish ourselves as true disciples. Put simply, a disciple of Jesus does the things Jesus did. What He did, we must do. How He thought and conducted Himself, we must think and conduct ourselves.
What does it look like to recognize every person as having unsurpassable worth? It means not looking down on anyone, regardless of the occupation they have, their level of education, their ethnicity, or even obvious sin in their lives. No matter the circumstance, each person has unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God and we must treat them the same. How small and petty we truly are when we differentiate between people on the basis of trivial aspects of their lives. Jesus was neither small nor petty and we dishonor His name when we claim to live for Him yet don’t act like He did.
No person is more or less than another in the eyes of God. We are all His workmanship, carefully crafted to build His Kingdom by serving others. The same goal is embedded in the DNA of every human. We are designed to love and worship God. When we are doing those things, we are manifesting the best version of ourselves.
Society will tell you some people are more important than others. Jesus tells us the opposite. This is something within the control of each of us. We decide how we will treat and interact with another. We choose how we see others. Will it be in the same judgmental way we’ve always looked at them, or will we begin to see every soul as having unsurpassable worth not only in God’s eyes, but in ours as well? It is up to us to decide. Let us choose the way of Jesus and see others as He does: having great beauty and unsurpassable worth.