Why is it that so many of us feel worthless? Why is it that so much of the world treats others as worthless? Whatever the reason, let me state something very clear: you…have…worth! God made us to be like him. No other creature is given that gift. So see the good that God sees. Draw out the wonders kids have buried in them. When we see people the way God sees them, we will treat them with higher honour. Kids matter to God. We matter to God. You and the children in your life are not throw-aways.
I love mankind – it’s people I can’t stand!
-Linus (Charles Schulz)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness.”
See the Good
Seeing the good in kids takes practice. It starts with seeing the good in yourself. If God looks at you and says, “You are very good,” there must be a reason for it.
Think of this practice as a treasure hunt.
Hunt for glimpses of hope, joy, kindness, or thoughtfulness. It’s easy and, quite frankly, lazy to just notice what’s wrong. Be on the lookout for talents, abilities, character traits, gifts, potential, development, skills, effort, attitude.
Then, when you’ve seen the good, notice it. Comment on it. Develop it further. Celebrate the image of God. Look for and draw out the image of God wherever you are, wherever you go.
Tips for Noticing Worth
Here are some quick and powerful ideas for adding value in your family and with the children in your life:
- Names. Making the effort to remember kids names you don’t know quickly increases your connection with them. Nicknames and affirming labels with children can be fun and also meaningful.
- Attention. Locking in with kids shows you care. Authentically listen and show interest in what they’re interested in.
- Ask. When it’s all about you, you won’t express interest in others. Asking thoughtful questions tells a child they have a voice and have something worth sharing with the group or family. Beware of dominating conversations.
- Sympathy and Empathy. The dictionary shows the similarity and difference between these two words. Sympathy is to suffer or feel with or alongside. Empathy is to suffer or feel within. In other words, sympathy comes alongside someone in an attempt to care. Empathy internalizes and identifies with those feelings. The former shows worth because the other person is noticed and compassion is expressed. The latter shows worth because there is identification and understanding-a mile was walked in the other’s shoes.
- Imitate God. John Maxwell said, “If I want to add value to people, I will do the things that God values.” Lay aside your own interests, serve, care for the least lovable, continue loving when it’s hard and forgive and forgive again.
How have you shown worth to children recently?
Lord, we celebrate the worth you give us.