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Who Determines True Worth?

December 30, 2009

So much seems to be tied in these days to how much a person is worth. That person’s perceived worth can effect the medical care they get. It can effect whether you get a job…or a loan.

There are different kinds of perceived worth. To an investor…are you worth the risk they are taking in loaning you money? Will you be able to pay it back with interest? Will your business succeed?

To an employer…are you worth the money they are offering to pay you? Will you do the job well enough to justify the cost of hiring you? The flip side of that is whether you feel you are worth the money…or the lack of…that they are offering you. It all depends upon your perceived worth…whether to them or to yourself.

A more serious consequence of perceived worth is medical care. A really hot topic we often hear debated is:  “is it worth the cost of the medical care needed to save this person?” This is basically another way of asking:  “are YOU worth the cost of the medical care needed to save your life…or to make your life more livable?”

Just how do we determine what a person is worth?  How worthy should we feel? Who…or what…actually determines our worth? What is it really based upon? There are many viewpoints on this.

One viewpoint is that our worth is determined by how much we can give back to society. Are we “productive”? Of course that will depend a lot upon whose definition of “productive”  we are going to use? Some base it upon how much we earn…or what position/title we have in a company. For another it is determined by how many letters come after our name…or what particular set of letters. Another might base it upon how much power we have over others. Some even base it upon how many children you have…or don’t have, depending on which side of that fence you sit on. Then there is the supposed worth of being young…or of being strong and healthy. And don’t forget being beautiful or handsome! Yet another is based upon how much you are needed…or your job is needed.

But are these all true values of worth? Some of them are very arbitrary or very changeable. A person might have all the knowledge and wisdom, but no letters after his/her name. Is that person worth any less? While the need for the garbage collector is obvious…what about the artist? Not everyone can be CEO. Are those who are not worth any less? What about the mom who stays home to watch over her children? Or the person who gives care to an elderly parent or disabled child or sibling? What about the elderly who no longer have the health or the looks? What about the disabled…or those who might need a little extra help now and then? Or those injured in an accident? What about those who gain a lot of weight…or those who are extremely thin? What about how one dresses? What about the walking wounded who have been abused to the degree that they struggle with things like PTSD and are unable to work a steady job? What are all these people worth?

This is really important, especially since your very life may depend upon it. Are you too old…or to young…to be “worth” giving medical care to? Will it result in you becoming “productive” enough to make it “worth” the cost? We see this played out a lot when it comes to unborn children…or with children who are born with health issues or disabilities. We also see it with comatose patients or those that they want us to believe are “vegetative”. There are so many cases of people coming out of comas after being in them for years…and even of some being fully aware yet unresponsive. What if society, in its supposed “wisdom”, decided that a comatose/nonresponsive person was not worth the expense of keeping alive? What about those who actually have family willing to take on the work and pay the expense? Should they be told “no”…which is basically another way of saying the person has not perceived worth even though they obviously do to someone?

If a person’s worth is not intrinsic, then it is arbitrary. It can be given or taken away. It can increase or decrease. Is that the way life is supposed to work? Are we supposed to have a worth that can be changed by our circumstances or what others perceive our worth to be? I say “NO”!

There is only One who can truly determine our worth…the One who created us. He is the One who says how much we are worth…and, to Him, we are worth a LOT! We mere humans have rebelled against Him for thousands of years. Yet, He still loves us enough to keep us here…to allow us to fight against Him and one another. He has allowed us the freedom to turn some parts of this planet into a hellhole with our cruelty to one another. He keeps giving us chance after chance to listen to Him and learn from Him about who we are and who He really is. Both of these last things are very important.

There are many false ideas about who G-d really is and what He is really like. Many people take a few verses here and a few verses there out of the bible  and then say, “well, if that is what G-d is like…forget it!” There are couple of problems with that. One is that they have not really taken the time to study the whole bible. They have not asked G-d to reveal Himself to them and then been open to whatever He shows them. They presume to know what G-d is really like from a cursory reading. The other problem is that His existence is not predicated up0n whether or not you can accept Him or believe in Him. He is…period. It is up to us to get to know Him and accept Him for who He really is.

It is also important to know the Creator because it is only in really knowing the Creator that we can truly know ourselves. He tells us in His word that we were created in His image. That makes us pretty special. It also tells us about His persistent attempts to get us to recognize who He is…to see the condition of our hearts and souls and turn to Him. Yet…we persist in righting against Him.

So…how much are we worth to our Creator? Enough that He sent a part of Himself…His Son…Yeshua/Jesus…to fix things between Him and us. Again…that makes us pretty special. He does not love us based upon what we look like…or what we do. It does not matter to Him how smart we are or what our portfolio looks like. He just loves us…each and every one of us. Wow!

How worth it are we? VERY!!

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