The link at the top of this page goes to Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of the century issue. It lists some pretty important folks, including President Bush, Secretary of State Rice and Kim Jong Il of North Korea. Others on the list included Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Pablo Picasso and Bart Simpson.
It made me wonder, how do you define yourself? What makes you significant?
The goolge dictionary defines important in two ways:
"Strongly affecting the course of events or the nature of things; significant." Also, "having or suggesting a consciousness of high position or authority; authoritative."
Now most of us would agree that presidents and princes merit such designations. And if you doubt that, try getting past the fence at the White House without proper ID or a pass and find out.
But what about you? What about me? Are we important? Do we have significance? Some might say that's a stupid question; "of course we are significant!" But do we act that way? Do we treat ourselves and others with honor and respect or do we think other people are idiots and asses because they drive differently? Maybe my perspective has been warped a little by living and working near DC, but how do you define important? Do you feel like you matter? And if so, why?
There's a passage in the Bible that refers to Christians as a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession." (1 Pe 2:9). This scripture refers back to a promise that God made to Israel: "Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation. These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites."
Later, in the book of Titus, the Apostle Paul writes that: "He [Jesus] gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works."
So that must mean that you are pretty important -- if you know Christ. If you don't, that doesn't mean that you are not significant, but it does mean that you have not fully taken possession of what you were intended to be, one of God's special people.
John's gospel clearly states that Jesus died for the world (the Greek word there is cosmos all of creation) that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16). So that must mean that God thinks that you are special enough to die for. If someone thought that much of me, that tops anything that Time magazine could do by a long shot.