How does God look at people? Jesus shares the divine perspective: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”(Matt 6:26). God takes care of birds, but people are worth more than birds. God takes care of people because every person matters.
He later mentions birds again: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows”(Matt 10:29-31). Sparrows are small and unimportant, yet God sees and provides for them. Jesus assures us that we are worth more than many sparrows. God knows every person down to the level of the number of hairs on our heads—better than we even know ourselves. Every person matters to God.
That also means that God cares about each person finding their way back to him. “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray”(Matt 18:12-13). The shepherd goes after every sheep because every sheep matters. The fact that he has other sheep in the flock doesn’t diminish the value of that one. Every person matters.
Every person matters. Rich people matter and poor people matter. Black lives matter and white lives matter. Male people matter and female people matter. American lives matter and Chinese lives matter. Nothing about the quality of our lives, the choices we make, or the circumstances we live in affects the fact that every person matters.
Know this about yourself. You matter. Your life has innate value because you were created in the image of God. Don’t allow other people—with their labels, expectations, and criticisms—to blur the truth of this fact about you.
Know this about others. Other people matter—even when I disagree with them, dislike them, resent them, or have been hurt by them. Don’t allow the occasional unpleasantness of your interactions with others obscure the fact that they matter.
Emulate Jesus’ compassion. If people matter this much to God, we should treat them with dignity and respect. We should work to understand their perspective, relate to their hurts and needs, and work to be a blessing to them—like Jesus. Our ultimate goal is to be a bridge toward them reconciling to God.
If every person matters, then every person should matter to me.