(I vaguely remember Dad preaching this sermon which, from the date on his file folder, was first delivered when I was 15 years old, in August of 1986.)
You are a person of worth.
There is an emphasis in the text of Galatians 6 on thinking. Man is the product of his thinking. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 23:7 also says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
There is a power in perverted thought. Listen as Paul describes his own actions in Acts 26:9-11: “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.”
There is also a power in positive thinking. Paul encourages Christians in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
In 2005, a dwarf named John E. Rice passed away. A few decades before, he was rather famous for starring in informercials and beginning a motivation company with his brother called “Think Big, Inc.”
Christianity is designed to enable man to see his own self worth. Some of the basic problems in life arise from a failure to appreciate one’s own self worth. Perhaps you’ve seen the cartoon poster in which a boy says, “I know I’m somebody ‘cause God don’t make no junk.”
Some causes for thinking one is something… Pride such as the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14. One’s position as we see in Matthew 20:20, 25-28. Power, especially as it is embodied in money. Yet the “love of money” is the root of all sorts of evil, according to 1 Timothy 6:10. Popularity, but Jesus said in Matthew 16:24: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Additionally, Paul wrote: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). The fact is, the glory of the world is fickle and brief (1 Peter 1:24; James 4:14).
There are also, however, causes for thinking one is nothing… Sin is really man’s worst failure. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Sin can cause one to feel cheap and worthless. The sinner may get into a vicious cycle of despair to dejection. Yet, Christ could see in publicans and harlots hope for a better person (Luke 15).
Another cause for thinking one is nothing is improper comparisons with others, as Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 10:12. There are no inferior saints (1 Cor. 12:14ff). One talent people are also important (Matthew 25:14ff). The Lord makes His people great by making them His servants (Matt. 20:26-28).
Thinking one is important when one is nothing results in deception: “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:3).
Thinking one is nothing when in reality he is something leads to: demoralization, defeat, and destruction. One may “rejoice” in personal accomplishments for the Lord: “But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another” (Galatians 6:4).
One may indeed “glory in the cross” (Galatians 6:14).
–The late Wayne Holland, Sr.
a sermon delivered in Hiawassee, GA, August 3, 1986
and South Boston, VA, April 26, 1992