What are you worth? It depends on who’s asking.
The Environmental Protection Agency calculates your worth at about $10 million. The federal government does periodic cost-benefit studies to determine the worth of an American citizen, which it calls the “Value of a Statistical Life” (VSL). Each agency comes up with a different number, and the EPA has the highest (Dave Merrill, http://www.bloomberg.com, 10/19/17). Agencies use their VSL to set policy, from air pollution standards to cancer research to seat belt regulations. If, for example, the EPA is considering a regulation that would save 1,500 lives, but would cost $18 billion to enforce, that would cost $12 million per life, and that’s not worth it.
A biochemist might calculate your worth much lower. The US Bureau of Chemistry and Soils says that the body breaks down by weight to 65% oxygen, 18% carbon, 10% hydrogen, 3% nitrogen, 1.5% calcium, 1% phosphorous, and trace amounts of things like sulfur, chlorine, iron, iodine, zinc, copper, and silicon. If you add it all up it would be worth a little less than $1. Though your skin is worth about $3.50 at the going rate for cowhide (“How Much is My Body Worth,” http://www.coolquiz.com).
The bank would likely give you a negative worth. Most Americans are underwater on their home and car, and carry a significant amount of debt from education and credit cards. In fact, over one-third of Americans are only 30 days from bankruptcy.
I find that stuff fun to think about. But now let me ask, how much are you worth to yourself? If you looked in the mirror, would you like what you see? Do you see a person of value, of worth, of importance?
We must realize how valuable we are to God, what is our great worth in His eyes! Nothing is worth more to God than you are, individually and personally.
Genesis 1:26 is as important as John 3:16. It says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” This does not mean we look like God; it means we have a reasoning spirit. We make moral decisions, we don’t just respond to stimuli. We are children of God (Acts 17:29). Any human being, no matter how rich or poor, tall or short, thin or fat, abled or disabled, is priceless to God. He cares about the day of our birth, the day of our death, and gives purpose to each day in between.
Not even angels are worth more than people. They may seem more majestic and capable, but they are “all ministering spirits sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).
Praise is nice (Proverbs 31:28-31, Ephesians 5:25-29), but God’s praise is the only thing that really matters. Self-worth ought not come from what mere people think of you. You are a person of great importance and potential, who is in control of his or her decisions, because God created you in His image. Don’t give in to pushy vacuum cleaner salesmen or overbearing boyfriends; have the self-confidence to stand your ground and speak your mind. Shut the door when necessary, while still feeling good about yourself. Because you’re doing what’s right in God’s sight, and He is the only one you have to impress.
Stop listening to the parents who ignore you, the spouse who belittles you, the employer who yells at you. Know that God bent heaven and earth to create you! He calls you and says, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:18).
Sadly, sin has deformed us, and subjected us to God’s eventual wrath. But we have lost none of our value to God, who wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). The thug walking down the street is made in God’s image. The prostitute, the drug addict, the poor man, the business tycoon are objects of God’s love (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God gave the life of His own Son to provide redemption from that sin. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God desires your company for all of eternity! And He sacrificed Jesus to obtain it.
Acts 13:46 is so sad. Paul laments over some who refused Christ. He says, “you judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life.” God judges you worthy of eternal life—He created you in His image. Jesus judges you worthy—He endured the cross for your salvation. Paul judges you worthy—he traveled the world to proclaim the message. Understand your worth, and respond to the gospel! –John Guzzetta