When visiting the Louvre, it can be quite difficult to get a glimpse of Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa over the crowd gathered around her display.  It is the most famous painting in the world, but I’m not writing this to apprise you of the value of this masterpiece. 

I believe that the most valuable work of art is human life, and I know I’m not alone. Self-worth is promoted everywhere in modern culture through music, movies, self-help books, and advertising.  It has been proven to enrich and give meaning to one’s life. 

Nevertheless, when I hear the message of self-worth, I can’t help but ask myself, “On what basis do we claim that everyone has value?” Value is attributed.  We have value because we receive it either from others or from ourselves.  It is not just a consequence of beauty, wealth, social status, talent, fame, or even a good moral standing; for one can have all of these characteristics and still be replaceable or despised by another. « Worthy » and « loved » seem to go hand in hand.

Why, then, do I believe that every human has value?  Because I also believe that like the Mona Lisa, each human has an “artist”, or a Creator. 

This Creator, for me, is God. And I believe that he found each person worth making before he or she was made known to this world, and through His infinite love attributed value to each human soul. In His eyes – whether we be unrecognized or celebrated, rich or poor, man or woman, young or old, loved or hated – we are all priceless.

Today, I encourage you to recognize your own value, not simply because you exist, but because you are loved.

Today, I want to encourage you.