“What is this worth?” I ask a bunch of eleven year-old girls as I hold a fifty dollar note in my hand. I give this speech at the beginning of an eight week course called ShineGIRL. Over eight weeks we teach young girls – with their whole life ahead of them – they are valuable, they can make good decisions, and they have purpose.
And I begin the course with this illustration.
Someone calls out, “It’s worth fifty dollars.”
“Right,” I say, “but how ’bout if I scrunch it up? What is it worth now?”
“Still fifty bucks.”
“And what if I trample it to the ground? What if it gets muddied and filthy? What will it be worth then?”
“What if I tear it, and it becomes broken?”
“Do you know in Australia, you can take a torn note back to the bank, and they will return the broken one to treasury and exchange the note for a brand new one? So even a broken and torn fifty dollar note is worth fifty dollars.”
This is where things get serious. I look at each girl in the room. She has been chosen to be part of the program because she doesn’t think very highly of herself. Typically she doesn’t have many friends and struggles through life.
I look at her and say, “This is you. You are worth more than fifty bucks, but this is you. Life has scrunched you up. You have been trampled on by all kinds of stuff – words people have said, things you have done, things others have done to you. And you think such things decrease your value. You think these things make you worthless. But I want you to know this: whatever has happened, or will happen in the future, it does not change your value. You are valuable and worthwhile just the way you are.”
If you could only see the look on the girls’ faces as the penny drops and the magnitude of my words sink in. It is a beautiful moment.
But today with you, I want to go one step further.
I perform these seminars in public school so I cannot go here with the girls.
But I can go here with you.
The last part of my analogy explains that even a torn and broken fifty dollar note does not lose its value. If you take it back to its maker, you get a brand new note in return.
Revelation 21:5a Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Our lives were broken and torn. And we thought we were worthless. We tried to fix things, but we just couldn’t. So we took our lives to the Maker. And He made them new. He said, “You were always worthy to Me. So worthy I would die on a Cross for you. Never think you are worthless again. Never believe the lie.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [s]he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
In Christ you are a valuable, glorious new creation. Sure, life has scrunched you up and spat you out torn and broken, but in Christ you have been made new. Believe in who you are. You are worthy of love, friendship and acceptance. In Christ, you are worthy.