What is Your Worth?
If you were kidnapped and the criminals demanded 100 million dollars for your ransom, how would you feel? Flattered? Maybe for a moment. But you would soon fall into despair. Who would pay that much for your life?
But how do we determine our worth? By our earning potential and assets? That may be the easiest way, but is it the right way? Are we no more than how much money we have? But some say that we are nothing more than a collection of atoms. Twenty-some years ago, someone calculated the cost of the chemicals that make up our body; it was around $7! Is that what we are worth at the end of the day?
Listen to what Jesus said about this important issue: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they...? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (Matt. 6:25-31).
Jesus affirms the value of the whole creation—even of the grass of the field and the birds of the air. God is the Creator of all things, and He cares for and sustains them according to His plan and wisdom. That is why we should take care of our environment. But Jesus’ main point was to accentuate God’s special love and care for us humans, to affirm man's superior, intrinsic value. Why are we so special?
Because we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26)! God gave us unique abilities to have a real, meaningful, personal relationship with Him. Animals may eat to live and live to eat. But simply existing as long as possible is not, and cannot be, the highest aim of man's life. Because we are made in God's image, we are more than what we eat, wear, afford to buy, etc. To pursue these things as if our worth and happiness depended on them would be a tragic waste of our life.
How much, then, is our intrinsic value? 100 million dollars?
God showed us how much we are worth to Him by the ransom He was willing to pay for our redemption. We committed treason against the high King of heaven by rejecting His authority over us. How bad is this crime? It’s one thing to betray a casual acquaintance; it’s another to betray one’s family. The seriousness of a crime depends on the value of the one it is committed against. If betraying our family is horrible, how about betraying the high King of heaven, who is infinite in honor, who gave us life and all that we have and enjoy? When we break God's law, we violate His infinite honor. This crime requires infinite payment. No finite creature can pay for his own ransom.
What we cannot pay for ourselves, the Son of God was willing to do for us. By laying down His life as a ransom for us, not only did Jesus affirm our intrinsic value as God's image-bearers; He also bestowed on us a value so much greater than a mere creature can ever hope for! Made in God's image, ransomed by the life of God's eternal Son, we are so much more valuable than what this world can offer us!
This gift of dignity and worth is given to anyone who recognizes the gravity of his sin and gratefully accepts what Jesus has done by faith. This gift enables us to love and respect others as fellow bearers of God's image. Also, we will enjoy God's affection and delight, not only in this life but also for all eternity because that's how precious we are to Him! If so, we should live for things that are worthy of our precious life, the things of eternal value—the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).