Have you ever questioned yourself or wondered about your worth because of how someone responds to you? You may have heard the quote by Charles Spurgeon that says, “The same sun that melts wax hardens clay.” I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to realize that how a person responds says more about them than it does about me— or you— unless, of course, everyone is responding to us the same way. If that is the case, we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing to cause the same effect and then seek to change. Maybe we’re like acid and burning everyone; or prickly like a cactus, and causing people to keep their distance. But if different people are responding differently, just as the same sun that melts wax and hardens clay and also bleaches clothes and causes plants to grow and produce vibrant colors, how a person responds says more about them and what they’re made of, than about you or me and what we’re worth. Have you ever smiled at one person and had them smile back, but then have another person frown? Same smile, different response.
While a negative or positive response may reveal what a person is made of, it may also simply reveal their state of being at the time. Are they tired, hungry, depressed, overwhelmed, lonely, aging or hormonal? Or do they consistently respond a certain way? And is their response a result of the condition of their heart or of how they were molded and how they feel about themselves? What a person thinks about themselves will play a part in what they do and how they respond, but their response to us still doesn’t determine our worth. Their response reveals something about them.
An elderly friend once lamented with tears in her eyes that her son rarely acknowledges her birthday. But her daughters do. So does that mean she’s worth less because her son fails to remember her on her birthday? Absolutely not. It says more about him than it does about her. Once she realized that, although she is still sad because both are missing out on a blessing, she doesn’t feel as worthless.
The Son of God loves you and me and thinks we were worth dying for, even when we were indifferent to Him or even hated Him. Just as my elderly friend’s loving response reveals something about her as well as how much she values her son despite his indifference, God’s loving kindness to us reveals something about Him and how much we are worth in His eyes.