An article about Cooper Kupp caught my attention. In case you didn’t watch the Super Bowl, Kupp is the wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams who was awarded MVP after the game. Now I’m not a big NFL fan, but I am a huge college football fan, so what really impressed me was learning that Kupp was a 0 star recruit coming out of high school. Zero! We college fans love our big-time recruits. We want those four and five stars. But for Kupp, it looked like his football days would end after high school, in spite of the fact that both his father and grandfather played in the NFL. He didn’t have a single college offer until three weeks after his senior season, when finally, he received offers from Eastern Washington and Idaho State. Not exactly blue blood programs.
So how did someone with slim-to-no prospects become a Super Bowl MVP? I don’t think he believed the lie that he was a zero. He knew he was more than what the recruiters said he was. His self-worth didn’t come from Rivals or ESPN. He knew he could play football in spite of what others said. His head coach at Eastern Washington was impressed from the start. Kupp was the hardest worker on the field and he proved that he was worth so much more than 0 stars. He won all kinds of awards in college including consensus All American and the coveted Walter Payton award. After college he was drafted by the Rams who were excited to land him. Rams coach Sean McVay said he was one of the most pro-ready receivers he had ever evaluated. Kupp has won numerous awards as a pro and has set all kinds of records. Not bad for a kid nobody wanted.
There is a message in Kupp’s story for all of us. We need to stop believing the lies and start believing the truth about our value. We are worth so much more than our bank account, what kind of car we drive, or where we live. The numbers on the bathroom scales or what we shoot on the golf course are only numbers, metrics. They are not a measure of our value as humans. We are worth so much more than the number of “likes” on our social media page or how many followers we have. We are not the failures we have had in the past or even the successes we will have in the future.
We need to cut out the negative self-talk. Some of us need to stop listening to the voice of a punitive parent (or spouse, coach, or boss, or ex-spouse) in our head. We are not the grade on our math exam, our GPA, or what the mean girls in the fifth grade said about us. We are grown-ups now, and we can know the truth about our value.
Here is the truth: we are worth what God says we are worth. And God doesn’t have any zeroes. Go to the Bible and read God’s love letter to you. He tells us how much He loves and cares for us, that He is always with us, watching over and protecting us. The same God who feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies, cares for and provides for us. Because he loves us! He takes great delight in us and rejoices over us with singing (Zeph. 3:17). I often suggest to my clients that they meditate on Psalm 139, especially verses 13-16. And if you only needed one truth about your worth, here it is: God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for your sins so that you could be in relationship with Him. He wants to have dinner with you! (Rev. 3:20).
Cooper Kupp knows these truths. Even with all the awards and accolades, Kupp says his greatest joy comes from knowing Christ and living out his God-given purpose in life. He knows he is not a zero.