How do we know God cares for us? Because we are worth more than a sparrow.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Matthew 10:31 NIV
Just Another LBB
“Those sparrows all look the same!” I groaned in frustration.
“That’s why we call them LBBs,” another birder in the group joked.
“LBB?” I’d heard other birders refer to a Mountain Chickadee as a MOCH, and a Northern Mockingbird as a NOMO. But the system of shortening a bird’s name always involved four letters, not three.
“Little brown bird!” another birder chimed in. “If we can’t identify it quickly, we just call it a little brown bird and move on.”
The others in the group laughed. Identifying small flying objects whilst looking through binoculars took practice. I carry a camera with a telephoto lens with me to help with identification after the fact. If I can snap a photo, I can use my guidebooks and apps to figure out the exact species of bird.
If you’ve never spent time around a birder, you might not realize the importance of properly identifying and logging each species of bird. Even the sparrows.
Sparrows only make up about 35 of the 1107 species found in the United States, but they often look almost exactly alike. If someone says, “Hey, look at that sparrow!” most people don’t whip around to look at it. Unless it holds rare visitor status in the birding world.
You Are Worth More Than a Sparrow
You aren’t just another human being—the people equivalent of a little brown bird. Your life has immeasurable value. The authors of both Matthew and Luke (Matthew 10:29 and Luke 12:6) give us an idea of how much sparrows cost—two for a penny. If you purchased five, you only paid for four (two pennies).
Jesus reminds us he sees each sparrow that falls—even though they have so little worth, seem insignificant, and get lumped together in the LBB category. Sparrows have worth. And we are worth MORE than a sparrow.
God doesn’t want us to worry, fret, or feel anxious about our lives or our worth. He sees us as valuable. (If you struggle with constant anxiety or depression, I urge you to see a licensed therapist. You don’t have to suffer. Your anxiety or depression may stem from a traumatic experience or even a trauma experienced by your parents). So valuable Jesus paid for us with his very life. God knows us—the good, the bad, the ugly, the mediocre, the plain, the quirky, the confused, and the fearful parts of us.
And he still believes we are worth dying for.