I have begun the very first steps of what may be my journey to become a therapist. It will be a long while until that happens, if it happens, but while I wait and work, I listen to a lot of therapy literature and podcasts. I love it. It fascinates me.
I was listening to one of my favorite therapy podcasts “Psychology in Seattle” when a patron wrote in a question that I had wondered for awhile. In summary, she asked,
What proof can you give that all people have value or worth? I can’t figure out why that is the case, but my therapist says that I can’t get any further in therapy until I accept and believe that every human has value just for being.
On the podcast, Bob answered, again in summary,
Imagine that your son does something that makes you angry, your little toddler. Is he worth less to you? Do you love him less? Of course not. He is your son. What about when he grows up and does something really bad, like stealing your car and wrecking it? Is he worth less to you? Do you love him less? Of course not. We all have to accept that we are sons and daughters to someone, friends and siblings. We can’t lose our value by what we do and do not do.”
I see what Bob was saying, and I agree with some of it, but his illustration does imply that we only have value based on our relationships with others, not inheirent in ourselves. And he hasn’t explained what gives us value, he has only tried to prove that it is there.
I have a worldview that lays the foundation that all therapists are building off of. I’m sure there are other religions that also attribute value to humans and I’m sure that even with or without religion, people can get very far in their growth without needing to prove this point to themselves. But having grown up in the Christian tradition, I can’t help but feel that this is truth, that we are made in the image of God, specifically designed and purposed by him.
We can conceptualize truth as boring, lifeless facts, but another way to conceptulize truth is by understanding that truth ought to propel us forward and open up more truth to us, in the same way that when you learn to ride a bike, your world opens up and many more opportunities are now available. This is the truth that I believe sets a firm foundation upon which we can kick off.
You, dear reader, were designed, fearfully and wonderfully, and given a purpose in which you can find great meaning. Created in the imagine of the divine God, we have a shadow of his divinity, not based on anything that we have done or can do. As one of his purposed creation, you have value that is linked to him.
Even more than that. If you acknowledge that value is determined by the price that someone will pay for you, (a diamond is valued by the maximum price that someone will pay for it), Jesus Christ paid with his life to be reconciled with you. What is the price of the life of God? There is no way to even comprehend the value of God! And he was willing to suffer and die just to have a reconciled relationship with his creation.
Of what value are you now?