ARBEIT MACHT FREI // "Work Will Set You Free"
This is written on the gate of every Nazi concentration camp, including Sachsenhausen. It was the predominate philosophy, but it was also a lie on a couple of levels.
The idea was that if you could work hard and contribute, then you were an asset to society and would be set free. If you weren't, you would be killed. Of course, the hard workers were never set free, so there's the first lie. The second lie is the identity that this gave the prisoners. This told them that their only worth as a human was in the work that they could produce.
And before you jump on the Nazis for this, how many times do we think the same thing, even if we don't put it like that? How many times do you allow your self-worth to rise and fall on how well you perform? How much does others output effect your view of them? I know for me, it's more than I'd care to admit.
One of the hardest parts of the trip was coming to terms with the evil that's in all of us. That's in me. I'd like to think I'm nothing like the Nazis, but I so often allow my work to be my worth.
Jesus gives us worth and value in simply being human. We're created in the image of God and that's enough. It has nothing to do with results. That's something that the Nazis never understood and I think something we all struggle to remember every single day.