Monday, July 14, 2008

Where Our Real Value Lies

I'm always part amused, part disgusted by the amount of attention given to celebrities, and especially to celebrity offspring. It's one thing to be fawned over because you've won an Oscar or because your latest album went platinum. But I'm puzzled over some people's obsessions with their favorite stars' children.

Take the way-more-famous-in-utero-than-I'll-ever-be-outside-the-womb "Brangelina" twins. There are reports that the rights to their first photos could fetch up to $20 million. I'm baffled at the thought of someone willing to fork over such an outrageous sum of cash for pictures of babies who have done little more in their days-old lives than eat, sleep and necessitate diaper changes.

But therein lies the key to their appeal. They haven't done anything of great significance. Their worth (by gossip magazine standards, anyway) lies not in what they do, not even in who they are as individuals, but in whose they are. Because their parents are two of the most famous movie stars in the world, they are instant stars, destined for a lifetime of celebrity status regardless of who they grow up to be or what they choose to do in life. They will always be identified as Brad and Angelina's children.

While my hackles have been a little bit raised over the thought of millions of dollars being spent on baby photos, this is serving as a reminder that my own value lies not in what I do, or who I am, but rather in whose I am. I am a child of God--and that alone is enough to warrant undue love and attention from an everlasting Father. The apostle John sums up our identity:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1a)

Furthermore, God loves us all equally, regardless of our backgrounds, our financial situations, our marital status, how many children we have, where we work, or any other variables. As Paul reminds us in his letter to the Galatians, we are all on equal footing when it comes to our identity in Christ:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3: 26-29)

If Paul were writing this letter today, he might add something like this: There is neither student nor teacher, single nor married, childless nor parent, homemaker nor executive, homeless nor millionaire...

It doesn't matter who we are or what we do. We've done nothing to earn the love of God. And, as Paul points out in Romans, we can do nothing to lose His love, either.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

The next time you hear a news story about another celebrity baby or spot a million-dollar baby photo on the cover of a magazine, let me encourage you to use that as a reminder of your value in being a child of God. He loves us simply because we exist.

3 comments:

Amanda G. said...

Loved this! What insight and a great way to use the craziness of our culture to reflect God.

Snapshot said...

Amen

Tara said...

Wondeful insight! I guess that means that the couple had their twins. The only info I get is at the line at grocery store when I check out (and I haven't been in about a week).

By design, I avoid all the celebrity hoopla that our culture seems so amazed with. I'm just not interested and have more things to think on/do with my time. (As you may can see, it bothers me too that America is so taken with Hollywood.)

I'm so thankful we serve a God who loves us all for us and not our career, money, house, etc.