$5.00 is a lot of money… to certain people. To another group of people, $5.00 is just a piece of paper. Now, if I say the word, “lying,” you might associate that word with things like wrongdoing, bad, pain, or punishment. Would you believe me if I said that some cultures would view lying as a virtue? Who determines the meanings that are associated with all of the things that make up a person’s life? Who makes the rules for determining things (anything!)?
What I want to look at here is how do these questions bear upon the issue of the value of human life. Who determines value? First, let’s consider what occurs when you and I determine the answer.
We Value Too Little
Let’s face it: We, created mankind, devalue human life. It’s been a problem since the time there were only 4 people on the entire planet (see Genesis 4:1-16). Today, we murder our unborn in the name of “valuing women.” We spew out oppressive words at our fellow Americans in the name of “anti-bigotry.” We exalt our immoral worldview on television, then verbally punish those who break the immoral value by their own immoral worldview! Our view of ourselves is often so low that we turn to pleasure bandaids to find relief for our wounded self-images. We, in the West, consider ourselves good people and yet cannot find it within ourselves to forgive the people “who deserve it!” So sadly often, we value others at the expense of others!
We Value Too Much
On the other side of the spectrum, we have exalted ourselves to the throne of God and have asked (or, unknowingly, forced) Him to step aside. We have become the value police. And we have pumped into our college classrooms, art, marketing, philosophy, etc. the worldview that “You deserve more!” “You determine meaning.” “You are your own moral boss.” The result is that we’ve moved God out of the way and it’s been a complete disaster (alright, go to Genesis 3). You can’t handle the pressure of the God-status. Depression abounds, needles multiply, and bodies pile up on the hill of vanity.
And thus, we see the heart of our world’s major problems: man’s value systems collide like shooting stars. The proof: Hatred, murder, war, all kinds of slavery, self-love, infliction and injection- abusing and twisting God’s good gifts of money, sex, power, justice, peace, love and harmony.
We’ve Got a Value Problem
Here’s the problem: We have our value-priorities mixed up. The value of man is measured by who deems it valuable. Every country has given their decree of value for their people. Stalin told his people, “You deserve to die.” And so, millions of his own followed suite. Hitler said, “There’s a right person.” And so, Jews, Gypsies, etc. were obliterated (see definition for liquidate). Leadership in Canada, for many years, deemed the First Nations people as less valued than the rest of Canada. Their solution was to institutionalize them; to “kill the Indian in the child” (see their official apology for this).
Here’s the Truth
We are valuable because we are made in the image of the supremely, valuable God- GOD! There are 7 billion Creator-bearers walking around the earth right now. Just as you are an image of your mom and dad, and you represent them on the earth, so you represent God (whether you believe in Him or not). We have value according to this ultimate Being. You have more value than the stars, animals, cosmos, sky-scrappers, airplanes, the Mona Lisa, museums, and Mount Everest. The value we assign to many of those is “awe-struckness” and so, in the name of Jesus Christ, yes, we are awe-somely created beings.
However, we have not more awesomeness than our God. We were created for a purpose. All things are for Christ (Colossians 1:16). He is sovereign over creation and the new creation (Heaven) (Colossians 1:15-20). He values the outcasts, the sick, the elderly, the unborn, the lepers, the lowly, the hurting, the sinners, the murderers, the adulterers, the humble, the aimless, the purposeless, the addicts, the needy, those who thirst for righteousness, the gentle, the merciful, the persecuted, the refugees, and the many others.
If we, His image bearers, have such value, how much is He?
How beautiful is the Creator of unknown galaxies!
How beautiful the Maker of DNA!
How marvelous is He that He made you and me?
Within this value structure of the Divine God is a place for each people group. He tells the world, “You mean something to me!” Let us let our God dictate the value of people and let us let our God set the record straight of how He is represented to the world.