Worth and Roles

March 2014

Recently I have been reading James R. White’s The Forgotten Trinity (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Press International, 1998). As he discusses the deity of Jesus Christ he makes an interesting statement. One of the biggest issues that causes people to reject the Trinity is their misunderstanding of a fundamental concept: “Difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature.” (p. 66) Realizing that each Person of the triune Godhead is still God even though each has different functions within the Trinity solves a lot of problems in understanding (albeit in a limited fashion) how our God can be One and yet Three.

But this principle extends even further to our roles in life as human beings, the most fundamental being the difference of male and female. In western cultures we argue that unless a woman is able to do everything that a man can in society, she is worthless. This extends to other areas: if a black man can’t have the same job a white man has, he’s worthless; if an old man can’t go do the same crazy things a young man can, he’s worthless; if an old woman can’t have the same silky skin a young woman does, she’s worthless; if a financially poor, but gifted student can’t study at the same university as a wealthy one, she’s worthless. You can add many more examples; however, Paul makes it clear in the oft-misapplied passage in Galatians 3:28 that our worth is from the fact that Jesus has saved us. And that is regardless of sex, age, race, social status or any other means of division found on this fallen planet.

This does not dictate, however, that we all have the same function within the Body. What would happen if one day the Holy Spirit would state, “If I have to be the one bringing glory to you other two and can’t plan things the way the Father does, I’m not worth anything. It’s my turn to plan!” How would the perfect balance of the Holy Trinity be affected? So, if we apply this to ourselves, how is the holy balance of the church affected if believers listen to culture and tie their worth to their function rather than their God-given roles? We are not all men, nor are we all women. God has assigned certain tasks to certain sexes (see e.g. Eph 5:21-33; 1Ti 2); He has assigned certain tasks to certain individuals (see e.g. Rom 12; 1Co 12; 1Ti 5). And these tasks have nothing to do with our worth. They are tasks. If you try to get your worth from them you will always be disappointed and you’ll always want more. Get your worth from the place you really can: from your relationship with God the Father, Our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If you find your worth there, you’ll fulfill your role joyfully as worship to the One who gave it.