How Much Are You Worth?
How Much are You Worth?
I saw this as the headline on the local news this morning: "How Much are you Worth?"
For whatever reason, at the gym before 6 a.m., my mind was tired and cynical. What do YOU know about human worth, news media?! But, this cynicism quickly turned into pity and sadness.
This segment, showing a call center with workers in cubicles, was clearly focused on net worth, financially-speaking. How many of us put our own self worth in our possessions, our power, or our fame?
From Whence Comes Worth
Where does our worth actually come from?
Our worth unambiguously comes from our Creator. By being made in God's image and likeness, we have worth. Through our creation, as human beings, we all have equal dignity. No person, in their nature, is more or less of worth than any other person. This is why racism is so disgustingly vile to Catholic sensibilities.
Our worth comes from being loved by God, in His own image and likeness. Then, by a gratuitous outpouring of grace in Baptism, we actually become adopted sons and daughters of God and co-heirs with Christ. What a mystery of God's justice, love, and mercy.
Worth in Humility
In a world that so caught up in awards' shows, accolades, monetary compensation, fame, wealth, power, prestige, and all the rest, the beginning of the answer is: humility.
This virtue, humility, is not well understood. The Catholic Encyclopedia from 1910 begins to define humility in this way: "The word humility signifies lowliness or submissiveness and it is derived from the Latin humilitas or, as St. Thomas says, from humus, i.e. the earth which is beneath us."
We often use the term "humiliate" to mean that someone has brought us down or we have less worth than we previously did. The Church unambiguously rejects this notion. Only a man or woman can humiliate themselves before God, and this type of humiliation, far from being a negative, is a virtue.
The Virtue of Humility
In the virtue of humility, we see ourselves as we are before God, as He sees us. We understood that He is God and we are not. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines the virtue thus: "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake." Before God alone, we willingly abase ourselves, not weighing our merits, but standing, as we are, in need of God's constant grace.
In humility, we "stay in our lane" and do not puff ourselves up before God. This allows us to find the proper value in the things of God. As St. Paul says, "That we may know the things that our given us from God (1 Cor 2:12)." Without humility, we will lose this vision.
In humility, we imitate Christ. The Incarnate Word, the Son of God, God Himself Become Flesh... Jesus Chris humbled Himself before the Father. This was so that we could imitate His example: "Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest for your souls (Mt 11:29)."
Humility is necessary for salvation. We must put things in proper order and understand our worth and dignity in light of God's love, mercy, and justice. Only then will we realize that sham that is the relentless pursuit of wealth, power, fame, and the rest. Only Jesus can satisfy our desires and show us who we truly are.
Distrust of Self
Humility is an abandonment to Divine Providence. In humility, we trust in God and we distrust ourselves. If we put our faith and our trust in ourselves, we will fall to temptations large and small. This is a fact.
However, when we put out trust in God, we will never be led astray.
There is so much more to say, but let this suffice for now:
Trust of ourselves is pride. Distrust of ourselves is trust in God.
Trust in the right things. Trust in Jesus.