Every object has it’s intrinsic worth/value. However, it will be ascribed a different value by different people. To a poor child in the slums where the football they play with is made of rolled up paper, a real, rubber ball would be of immense worth. Yet that same ball would be regarded as nothing by a child who has all manner of toys as his heart desires. None of this changes the ball’s intrinsic worth (or market value).
In thinking about how we ascribe worth/value, I was able to come up with the following:
- Value ascribed because of scarcity:
The example I gave of the football explains this.. The person who has limited resources places a greater value on the resources than one who has the resources in abundance. The young man who works hard to earn an income places a higher value on money than the one who is a son of a rich father and has never known what it means to earn money.
I believe it is this concept can be seen in the common saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. In other words, when my husband whom I love is always around me, I can begin to take him for granted but if he travels for some time, I begin to miss him and the feelings of ‘being in love’ that can wane in the daily stresses and strains of life are suddenly rekindled. Why? Most likely because I realize his value when he is not readily available to provide the things (not material but more emotional) he alone can provide.
Application: If we truly believe that we are in Christ only by His grace, we have no righteousness of our own and that we can do nothing to please the Father ourselves, we will value Jesus exceedingly.
- Value ascribed because of knowledge/recognition:
I once read a story in which a young girl went on holiday with her family to the seaside where she made friends with a lonely old man who lived there. She had a necklace made of plastic beads which she loved and wore all the time. When the holiday was over and the family was ready to leave, the old man wanted to give the little girl a necklace made of real pearls which he had stringed together, intending to take her cheap necklace off and replace it with the pearl necklace. Sadly, the little girl did not know or appreciate the value of the necklace he was trying to give her and left in tears, saying he was trying to take her own necklace. If she was older and knew the value of even a single pearl, she would have placed value on the pearl necklace. Was the necklace of great value intrinsically? Yes. But did she value it in her heart? No.
Application: If we recognize who Jesus really is, we will value Him exceedingly right from our hearts.
- Value ascribed in retrospect:
Like is often said, we many times don’t know what we have until we lose it. This is so true in human relationships where a partner or friend is taken for granted but once the relationship is gone, we are able to see what we had in the person – the worth of that person. Esau is an example of someone who did not place a value on something he had – his birthright but lived to regret it –
See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.(Hebrews 12:16-17 NIV)
Application: Let us not take lightly the grace that has been bestowed on us and has found us in a relationship with the Living Word, Jesus. While we have breath in our lungs, let us esteem Jesus as the King that He is and give Him the worship and honour due to Him……in our everyday living.
Jesus doesn’t need any creation of His to make Him Who He is. He is who He is all by Himself – the King of kings and Lord of lords; the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, First and Last; the Faithful and True; the Way, the Truth and the Life; the Light of the world, and so much more. He is invaluable [beyond calculable or appraisable value; of inestimable worth; priceless] intrinsically but the question is: what value do you and I ascribe to Him in our hearts (where He alone can look into)?
The answer to this question will be found in the choices we make every day. So if you really think about it and discover you have not ascribed to Him the value He should have in your heart, unlike Esau, it’s not too late to enthrone Jesus in your heart and dethrone every other thing or being.
Jesus is supremely worthy.