What are you worth?

 

Approximately 900 years before Christ was born, there lived a wise King. He was asked to solve a problem. There were two women who lived in the same house and had babies 3 days apart. One baby didn’t survive and both claimed to be the baby’s mother. It was one woman’s word against the others. King Solomon thought that the true mother would value the baby’s life – so he proposed to split the baby in half. One woman said she was fine with that knowing that neither would get to have the baby. The other woman valued the baby’s life and thought that it would be better to have the baby living with the other woman that she didn’t trust - rather than to kill it. Ultimately, the wise king Solomon gave the baby to the woman that valued the life of the baby. We may never know whose baby it truly was.

 

So what is the difference between the two women? Why did one value the life of this baby more than the other?

 

When I saw my first baby born, I came to appreciate life itself. I thought it was a miracle to have even one child. I’m blown away and forever grateful to have five of my own. My wife saw the creation of life and I’m certain that carrying a baby helped her comprehend how precious life is with a baby in her tummy. As a man, unfortunately, I’ll never have that same appreciation.

 

Humans try to quantify the value of life with money. This is done in the insurance and legal industries. The value of someone’s life is determined by the projected cost of it, or perhaps the earning potential. We often equate the worth of someone by their paycheck. One of the greatest benefits to work is that we feel valued. It is very gratifying to be able to provide a service or design a product that someone thinks is valuable. Working can provide simply a glimpse at the value of life. We can learn from that. But can we value a child or someone that is physically or emotionally disabled by how much they earn?

 

Value (or worth) is defined as “the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”. The extrinsic value is the face value, or what the object appears to have. The intrinsic value is the true value the object has. Let’s talk about each. The extrinsic value is a value that we subjectively place on people. It is a façade. It is determined by our appearance or the things we think, say, and do. I equate the extrinsic value of our lives with something temporary. Something about us that can be bought or sold.

 

My parents taught me that all humans are of “infinite worth”. We have an “infinite” intrinsic value. This is something that cannot be bought or sold at face value because it is infinite. It has infinite worth because the life that God gave you is infinite. It is eternal. Our goal in life is to learn about the intrinsic value that we have. If you truly believe that a soul can be infinite, then you will value yourself as infinite. You will hold your body, mind, and spirit in high regard. When you do this, any value that anyone places on you is meaningless because you know of your infinite worth. When someone degrades or belittles you, their words should actually be meaningless because they pertain to their perceived extrinsic (face) value of you. If that person knew of their own infinite intrinsic worth, they would know of your intrinsic worth, and they would not be saying such things.

 

We are in a constant battle. Always trying to figure out who we are, what we want to do or say, and who we want to become. But who are you? Can you look in the mirror and see the beauty of life? Isn’t that what you would see if you could see through God’s eyes? Can you look in the mirror and see your infinite worth? Your divine mission? Or do you look in the mirror and see the shape of your nose, ears, eye brows, or any other part of your body? Or your acne? Do you think God would look at you that way? I fear that we errantly place value in the facades of “beauty” our society has created. Why would we want to place value in something so subjective? Many people here think darker skin is attractive, yet in Asia, many people think lighter skin is attractive. The same goes for eye color, hair color, weight, and height. All of these things are subjective and are essentially self-imposed.

 

My challenge… is for you to look in the mirror through God’s eyes. Whether you have clothes on or not, or make-up on or not, and see the beauty of life. Look into your eyes. See your infinite worth. See your intrinsic value. Tell yourself that you are a son or daughter of God if that helps. The beauty of life is there. Otherwise God would not have given it to you.

 

After you see the beauty of life in yourself, you will begin to see the beauty of life and infinite worth in others. You will look at people the way your Heavenly Father and Savior do.

 

Paul