But Jesus called the children to him. (Luke 18:16)

I HAVE BEEN ABLE to spend time in various cultures through traveling both domestically and internationally for missions, as well as educational and business opportunities. In more than one culture I have spent time with various children and teens who, unfortunately, have been looked down on by their families and societies. These are young individuals who have been told that they will never amount to anything and have found themselves in the proverbial gym class lineup not being picked first for the team and will probably find themselves getting picked last only to sit on the sidelines.

We hear that young minds are very impressionable and that they will eventually start to believe the constant lies telling them of their worthlessness. And this is exactly what I’ve seen.

Jesus could have simply stopped after He rebuked the disciples. Instead, He went one step further and called the children to Him. He was making a statement not only to society and His disciples, but most importantly a statement to and for the children. He was announcing that they did matter and they had great value to Him.

When we find ourselves in similar situations as these children, being told we don’t matter, Jesus steps in to rebuke the lies, call us to Him, and remind us that we not only matter, but we are also of great value to Him.

Identify when your value is coming from the world’s lies versus from the words of Jesus.

Traver Paul Butcher, a PhD candidate in international psychology and missions coach, has a passion for helping individuals encounter God in international and cross-cultural experiences.