ODJ: Valid!

September 18, 2016 

READ: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 

We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view (v.16).

Australian native Nick Vujicic understands a magnificent truth: We do not find our value in our capabilities. Born without arms or legs, Nick has learned not merely to cope with his challenges, but to permit God to use them for unimaginable good. He says, “God has given me the strength to surmount what others might call impossible.” As Nick likes to say, “God can use a life without limbs to show the world how to live a life without limits.”

The word invalid has at times been used to describe people who lack certain abilities most others enjoy. It’s an ugly label that has no business being used to describe any human being—all made in God’s image.

We can avoid such an unhelpful mindset if we adopt the perspective of the apostle Paul, who said, “We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view” (2 Corinthians 5:16). Why? Because “Christ’s love controls us” (v.14).

Paul continues, “Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life” (v.14). That’s a pretty inclusive statement, but Paul was writing to fellow believers in Jesus. He wanted everyone to experience this joy.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person,” Paul wrote. “[God] brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him” (vv.17-18).

Nick Vujicic’s passion fits perfectly with Paul’s. Nick says, “My greatest joy . . . is to introduce Jesus to those I meet.”

Our value comes from God in whose image we all have been created. Each one of us is most emphatically valid! As we serve Christ, we find purpose, meaning, and infinite value regardless of our capabilities.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: John 16:5-33

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and see the encouragement it provides to deal with the infirmities of our human bodies. 
What causes you to “label” people? What do those labels say about you? How does God view you and others?