I entered the drive-thru after a busy day. I quickly ordered and waited on the smiling young lady to give me my food. I had signed the credit card but had forgotten to add a tip. I rummaged through my purse looking for a few dollars to give to the cordial service representative and finally came up with a couple of dollars. 

One bill looked pristine, but the other dollar looked as if it had been through a war! I hated to offer it as a tip, but it was a smudged, tattered bill or nothing as I was cash poor. My server graciously smiled and thanked me. It didn’t matter to her that one of the dollar bills was in sad shape. To her it was money and a gift of appreciation that many working the drive-thru don’t receive.

The experience reminded me that our worth and our value is not measured by the experiences of life, but it is set by our creator. 

Just as the national treasury department sets the value of a dollar bill, so the Lord sets our value no matter how many hard knocks we have received and no matter how wrinkled and smudged we may be.  

While teaching at conferences, I have often made this very point using a 50-dollar bill. I begin by asking the audience, “Who wants this $50 bill?” Every hand raises in the affirmative. Then I slip the bill into a Ziplock bag of dirt. Grinding the dirt into the unspoiled 50-dollar bill. Again, I ask the same question. 

All hands go up. Next, I crumple up the dirty 50-dollar bill, so it is virtually unrecognizable and ask the same question. Every hand still goes up. Finally, I drop, and soccer-style kick the 50-dollar bill across the stage floor, damaging it from the left and right. Then, it’s the same question with the same response.  Everyone still wants the 50-dollar bill even though it has been through tough times. They seem to understand that value is set, and abuse cannot change it.  

We often judge ourselves based on the abuse we have received not on what God’s word says about our value. This is an affront to our creator. He sees us and desires us no matter how difficult life has been. He is a redeemer and can clean, uncrumple and heal our lives. He never doubts our value even though we might. Trusting His assigned value to our life is so important. Why should we think ourselves smarter than God? Let me share a few scriptures that demonstrate this point.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” Genesis 1:27. Your value begins with the fact that you are made by the hand of the Creator in His very image.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” Isaiah 49:15. Even if you are forsaken by family and friends, you are always cherished in the heart of God.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11. God’s thoughts toward you are wonderful, and He has great plans for your life!

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” Jeremiah 31:3. His love for you is relentless, immeasurable, and infinite.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. The Creator of life loves you so intensely that He allowed His own Son to die in your place before you ever repented.

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold … but with the precious blood of Christ” 1 Peter 1:18, 19. God was willing to pay the highest price in the universe to redeem you—the blood of His dear Son.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. If you belong to Jesus, you have a brand new, sparkling-clean life in Him.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1. God actually considers you His very own precious child.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ … that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4–7. Your heavenly Father has planned a magnificent, never-ending future for you.

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us” 2 Corinthians 5:20. God has given you a high calling as an ambassador to share His great love with others.

There are many other verses in the Bible and many stories that verify our worth in God’s kingdom. Let’s begin to believe them instead of our shame.