What are you worth? If you were put up on an auction block today, what kind of price would you fetch? What dollar amount would equate to your value?
Do you think you are worth a hundred dollars? Or maybe ten thousand? A million? Surely you don’t think you’re worth a billion dollars, right? Come on! What kind of narcissistic psychopath are you?
Well, according to our American society, you are worth about $5 million. Hmm…not too shabby. As a livescience.com article points out, “If a safety code will cost more than $5 million for every person it will save, ‘regulators eyes start to glaze over. They say that that is too expensive.’”
Have you ever thought of yourself as being worth $5 million before? How would you treat an object you owned if was valued at $5 million?
Would you treat it flippantly? Would you leave it out where anyone could damage it or steal it? Or would you treasure it? I think, obviously, you would very much appreciate your $5 million prize, and care for it a great deal. But objects and people are two different things.
An object’s value is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it, or, as the dictionary defines value: “an amount, esp a material or monetary one, considered to be a fair exchange in return for a thing.” A cup of water in New York City is worth very little, while that same cup of water may be worth a great deal in the Sahara desert.
The value of an object is determined by its practical, aesthetic, or emotional value to the possessor. An object is only worth as much as one can get out of it, or how much use one can get out of it. In other words, when it comes material things…worth is not intrinsic. Money and gold lose all worth during, say, a zombie apocalypse; meanwhile, the value of food, water, and guns skyrocket. Value is relative.
But we are not objects…right? We’re not slaves or things; we’re people. That’s different…right?
Well…is this true? Are we really not slaves? Are we not objects? Well if we aren’t, we sure insist on treating and thinking of ourselves as though we are.
All too often, we are getting our views of self-worth the same way a cup of water or a microwave oven gets its worth. It’s from what we can do, or from how much other people think of us. As the culture has so masterfully deceived, many girls today get their sense of self-worth from their physical appearance. To be pretty is to be valuable; to be admired and sought after by the opposite gender is to be worth gold.
But is it really?
What are these girls doing when they place all of their self-worth on their bodies? Well, they are equating themselves to a microwave and making themselves into objects.
Whether they realize it or not, these girls are getting their worth from their practical value to others. How pleasurable they are to look at becomes their measure of value, and their sole purpose for existing.
In other words (subconsciously or not) these girls are saying their worth is not intrinsic. Their value is dependent on other people. This would also mean that the more attractive one is (physically), the more valuable one is. Not only do so many girls place themselves in the same category as objects, they estimate their value to extremely low, nowhere near the $5 million that safety regulators would place them at.
But this isn’t just females.
Guys will often get their ideas of self-worth from what other people think of them as well. How good at sports we are, how skilled or knowledgeable at one thing or another we are, and our physical appearance as well, will often give us our ideas of self-worth.
But again, we are equating ourselves with practical appliances if our worth only comes from what “things” we can or can’t do, and what selfish pleasures we can bring to other people.
Does our value really come from what we can do? Or what the other gender thinks of us?
Remember, an object’s value comes from what someone is willing to pay for it. But we are not objects right? We are people. So why then do we voluntarily objectify ourselves? Why do we enslave ourselves to people who only care about us for how we can please them? We are not objects. We are slaves to no man. It’s ridiculous. We need to stop garnering our worth from what others think of us. Why? Because people are not our masters. They are not the highest bidders.
No! There is someone else. There is someone else who has bought us at a price no one has—or ever can–match. Yes, you are worth far more than $5 million, and the buyer is Jesus Christ.
If our value stands at the highest price someone is willing to pay for us…then our worth is literally priceless…because no one can put a figure on the price Jesus paid for us. We often like to throw around the idea that human life is priceless. It sounds good to say, but how often do we think of the literal sense in which we are priceless?
If Jesus is our master–our savior—then His opinion of us is the only one that matters in the real world. And it just so happens that God looks at the inside, not the outside.
As the Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7 “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” It’s not about what we look like or what we can do…it’s about who we are.
So why do we continue to fret over what others think? They do not own us. We are not their slaves, we are not their objects of enjoyment. We are slaves to God, and God only. His opinion is the one that matters, and we are priceless to Him. The creator of the universe thinks you’re priceless! We don’t really have an excuse for insecurity, not because we are so great, but because of Christ. We can boldly go forth and do what our Master, our value-giver, our savior would have us do. And once we give up our insecurity, which is really just selfishness, we will become better vessels for Christ.
So what are you worth? The answer…nothing. That is, no figure can be put on your head. You are priceless. So stop acting like you came from Wal-Mart! You weren’t bought cheap.
Writer, speaker, musician, Reagan Ramm is the Editor-in-Chief of Kingdom Pen, a Christian online writing community and magazine for teens. He writes on Christian worldview and lifestyle on his blog, while also writing for Coastal Conservatory, a website for families seeking to cultivate their family enterprise. Additionally, he is currently in the process of writing a book on the topic of modesty.
On top of his writing, he also produces music, and recently completed his 2nd full-length album with his electronic music project, Andromeda Coast.
Reagan lives in Southwest Florida, and is the second eldest of seven children