Thinking Devotionally about Human WorthHow do you calculate human worth? There’s only one measure.
A memory tape I play often revolves around the events of our first-born child, a daughter. Never will I forget the encouragement of the paediatrician in his last visit with us prior to our leaving the hospital: “Now, you can take her home and enjoy her!”
I had never really thought about “enjoying” children before, but I have many times since. Even at 44, she’s still “my baby girl.” And we still indeed enjoy her and the other two significant humans entrusted to us as parents. Years later I would pay more for a house pet than the hospital costs of that first child but of course there is simply no way money measures the value of human or beast, if they are precious to you.
Biologists and others occasionally tally the latest money values of the chemicals that compose our bodies. That’s okay if it’s meant to keep us humble, but if it’s meant to trivialize our worth, I beg to differ.
The Bible convinces me we are of infinite value to the One who holds the patent on us. Christian believers resonate with the caveat stamped on the backside of every human at birth: Warning, you can and will be recalled by your Maker! He assigns us one body for life. What a difference that can make for how I choose to live and not live because the Creator-Giver chose to entrust life to me. Thus, I can affirm doxologically what I cannot fully comprehend logically about who I am. Am I one, two or three constituent “parts?” Whatever! I need to take care of me because I am of worth to Him.
Mark Twain was once asked to produce his birth certificate to prove his identity. He did not have one and it seemed superfluous anyway, so he simply said, “I’m here, ain’t I?”
Yes, thank you Lord, we are here.
Jimmy Cobb is professor of theology, ethics and Church history at Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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