How Much Do You Think You’re Worth?

What is the value of a human life? If you were to ask parents, they would be quick to say that their precious tots are priceless. Of course, with time, those little ones find their voices and parents can significantly lower their appraisals! All jest aside; no parent would ever put a price on their kid. Every child has inestimable value. That doesn’t mean, however, that others are unwilling to calculate their worth.

How then does one calculate the monetary worth of a person? A brief, inconclusive, and somewhat unreliable survey (this stuff comes from the internet) provides some answers:

  1. From a strictly materialistic perspective, a person is worth approximately $2,000. This is the value of the raw materials (calcium, potassium, etc.) that make-up the human body. This means that your body has the same value as a Louis Vuitton handbag.
  2. From a cost-benefit perspective, a person’s worth is in the vicinity of $8 million. Government agencies (EPA, FDA, etc.) determine the total to regulate how much government spending should be required to prevent a single death.
  3. From an exploitative perspective, a person is worth $90. Slavery is usually associated with the past, but it is a current and growing problem. With increased global vulnerability the opportunity to enslave others has resulted in huge numbers of people being sold for a pittance.

As believers, this cheapening of a human life appalls us—we are more than a commodity.  But even secular humanists assume human worth is sacred (see the irony?). What we can bring to the debate is a reason for our belief. The scriptures teach us that our dignity is woven into our design. Made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), we are the pinnacle of creation, God’s most prized possession.

His love for us is so great that he gave his only begotten son to die on our behalf. Jesus, who was perfectly loved by the Father, was sacrificed so that you could be rescued. How much are you worth? I can’t tell. There is no way to quantify the value of the cross.


3 thoughts on “How Much Do You Think You’re Worth?

  1. I have been involved in education since 1973, mostly with middle and high schoolers and watched my students deal with what they are worth. It occurs to me that in most cases, their worth is determined by what they perceive it to be. They are worth what they think they are worth—and the great majority don’t think they are worth much. Our sense of self-worth determines our behavior. Who we see oursleves as is either who we are or who we are trying to become. My question (and cry) is, “Who determines who we want to be?” Step into the schools or into the malls and observe the behaviors of a generation whose worth is set by the world and by a media whose intent is to make us discontent with who we are and what we have.
    It should cause us, as parents and believers, to commit ourselves anew to creating the foundation of faith in our children, to build in them the understanding that we are created in His image and worth the price He paid for us—everything.

    • 2 Years ago at Passion 2010, Andy Stanley dealt with a subject very closely related to this. His message was simple: don’t determine who you are by what you do. Instead, decide who you are going to be and then find out what you will do. In relation to those of the Way, we are bound to determine that since we are redeemed in Christ, our worth is found by his sacrifice on the cross, and not by what we do or where we go or what trips we attend. Our value to God is proved in Christ’s blood: the cost for souls of the redeemed.

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