Friday, May 30, 2014

The value of a thing.

Things, in general, have value to me. Whether I have a use for an item or not, I normally can find someone else who does have a use for it and can sell it or gift it. My eyes were opened to the value of things when I got married. Kelly comes from a junk yard family. Her grandfather and father both have owned and operated a junk yard for her entire life. Kelly grew up with a nurtured sense that things, no matter how tattered and worn, have value to someone - and so they had value to her. I can't imagine that this guiding principle was intentionally passed to her, but it was passed. Kelly finds value in everything. A scrap of ribbon, a repurposed paper clip, and even old sour cream containers. It doesn't seem to matter what the intended use or life-expectancy of the item was, Kelly sees value in it. 

The value of a thing is interesting and a lot of times value is distinguished by the consumer of it. Rarely does a creator of an item get to set value for the item. The value of an item is almost always determined by those who choose to purchase and use the item. For Kelly, when she buys sour cream, she is buying a product out family uses a lot plus a container she will continue to use over and over. The value of this item is probably higher to her than it is to those who simply throw away the container after use. Consumers set pricing based on what the market will allow. This gives us a value for the item we are evaluating. 

By this point you are probably trying to figure out what I am getting at. This idea of valuing is not foreign to anyone who lives and works in the United States. However, when we evaluate people we need to be careful not to use our free market economic principles. As a Christian I believe people are valued because God has given them value. In this instance an item (a person) is given a value by its creator, not by its consumer. A person is not something that the creator has put up for sale, it is priceless because it can not be bought. Much like my wedding band - it doesn't matter how high the offer gets, it isn't for sale. The creator isn't selling. 

Does this change things for you? God considers you priceless; he also says I should consider you priceless. Since I am generally in the business of living how God instructs - I do think you are priceless. You have such great value that it is futile to try and put a number or a degree on it. 

Do you have anything that is priceless? I actually do; my son is priceless (daughter too... But let's just talk about Andrew). There is nothing I could be given in trade for Andrew. I don't ever want to let him go - and I would gladly fight anyone who tried to take him to my own death. I think about Andrew constantly, whether I am wondering what he would think about a place that I am working in or if I am just looking at a menu and find myself choosing what he would eat (even when he is not there) - I am obsessed with Andrew. I am obsessed because he is of huge value to me. Things that are of huge value cause us to obsess over them. This is the relationship God has with us. He is obsessed with his priceless creation - you (and me)!

I just don't live like I am loved by God like this. Do you? 
How does should this change my life? Should it?

1 comment:

Laura said...

this gave me chill bumps