dig-ni-ty (noun) The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
A sense of pride in oneself; self-respect[1. Dignity Definition by Google ]
In a social-media dominated world, there is a constant pressure to prove yourself. Prove to your peers that your life is just as glamorous and exciting as theirs. As humans, we are hungry for attention, respect, and affirmation. We want to preserve and affirm our sense of dignity.
The truth is, this isn’t a new concept
The “American Dream” is built on the idea of the self-made person. If you work hard enough, you can prove yourself, and your worth, and make something of yourself, no matter the odds. While this sounds like a noble idea, it is steeped in the roots of insecurity.
We are driven to succeed; to work hard, to get into a good school, to get a good job. While working hard is important, what is our motive? Is it to get validation and build on our sense of dignity? Or is it to glorify God?
So What is Dignity?
Let’s take a look at Jesus’ example of what the purpose of true dignity is.
In Revelation 4, the Apostle John describes Jesus on the throne in heaven. He is surrounded by angels, worshipped by kings. John has difficulty even describing the beauty of the scene. If this doesn’t show dignity and honor, I don’t know what does. The Prophet Isaiah describes Jesus’ status while on earth in Isaiah 52 and Isaiah 53. He would not be someone who was attractive to others. Men would even hide their faces from him because they hated him so much. Jesus came from ruling in the heavens at the Father’s right hand to being born in a stable. The only beings around his makeshift crib to adore him were farm animals and dirty, sweaty shepherds. Talk about a change in social status.
Jesus not only laid down his life for us, he laid down his dignity. From his birth, right up to his last night with his disciples, performing servant work by washing their feet, to his death, dying naked on a tree, a torturous death reserved for the worst criminals, Jesus showed humility, constantly laying down his pride and dignity for the good of those he loved. He was obedient to what the Father asked him to do. He was secure enough in His identity as God’s beloved Son to give up all recognition and dignity to save us.
From Jesus’ example, we can see that in the Kingdom, our sense of dignity is meant to be laid down out of an act of love and an act of worship. Try taking some time today and tomorrow to thank Jesus for laying down not only His life, but also His dignity for us. Take some time to think about how you can lovingly say no to your own pride, and lay down your dignity, humbly showing love to another.