There are times in life that this question looms large. Almost every transition like death, divorce, job loss, graduation produces a bit of existential panic. We wonder if we are still important or have ever been in some cases.
There is plenty of talk in this world that fuels a sense of our own irrelevance. From cosmologists that want to emphasize that Earth is small and we are small on it, to the evolutionary mindset that considers us to be the product of chance, to ecologists who depict the human species as a plague and describe us as a part of an overpopulation problem, we are made to feel diminished.
But what if we are not small or accidental or common? A job is important, but we are not just a cog in the economic machine. Money is important but it does not describe our “net worth”. The people in our lives are important but even they don’t define the scope of why we matter, neither do skills or birth or perceived beauty.
The ultimate determiner of worth and purpose is our Creator, and there is plenty to show us that our Creator isn’t dumb luck. We may be the product of a chain of human procreation, either intentional or unintentional; but the Bible reveals that we are all intimately known by God and have been since before the creation of the universe. Humans number in the billions–over the course of time possible tens of billions. Yet, God knows each one and values each one.
Why? Because each person has a certain degree of a reflection of God himself. This includes the fact that we will not end when we die. We will continue to exist somewhere. There is also a beauty that He sees. Even now we are an expression of God’s handiwork and this can be greatly magnified if He can connect us to Jesus and alter the course of our life after death.
Far from worthless or small, God values us to the extent that the Son of God became human to restore our relationship with God. It took his living and dying as our substitute for this to happen. This reconnection is sealed when we are baptized in Jesus’ name. It was a great effort motivated by great love. This speaks to our importance.
On top of this comes our God-given purpose in life. We have value just in being His, but He makes us His representatives and helpers. In getting the ultimate answer to , “Where do I fit in?”, we must find out what “God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10 (NIV 1984)
What God has prepared for you might not put you in the history books. It will write you in God’s books, which is vastly more important.
You might be a person of lowly birth, in a crowded city, with no money, and no earthly influence; but you are chosen by God, cleansed from sin, empowered by God’s Spirit and sent on God’s mission. That makes you eternally important. You have more than the most successful and rich who don’t have God. You will accomplish many different acts of love that God sets up for you. You will be God’s best option to do the work God desires in many situations.
If you doubt your relevance and are losing hope, you are listening to the wrong voices. Life is not the accumulation of wealth or the winning of competitions with others. It is connecting with Jesus which paves the way for God-given purpose that can transform over the course of your life and that leads to an eternal, joyful existence that is what God destined you to have.