Friday, March 8, 2024

The Value of a Soul - Martin Wiles

The Value of a Soul
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NLT

I had never heard such a statement—nor had anyone in my class.

A plane crash has just killed basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and several other people. Many mourned this tragedy, including students at our school. As I took morning prayer requests, the first two related to praying for Kobe’s family.

But one wise youngster said, “The plane had other people on it, too.”

And that’s also when the unbelievable comment followed: “But they weren’t important.”

The comment shocked me, initially, so much so that I couldn’t speak for a moment. Everyone else in the class experienced the same shock.

I could not help myself. The teacher and adult in me came out. “God may not have cared that Kobe Bryant played basketball.”

If I know God as I think I do, I believe He would have cared more about whether Kobe had a relationship with Jesus Christ, whether he was a good husband and dad, and whether he used his skills and talents to promote the love of Christ in his world. I made my point with the self-centered young girl, and I hope she got it. In her mind, Kobe’s value lay only in playing basketball well.

Value is a funny thing. Something can have value and hold no worth. The opposite can also hold true. Something can have no value but become valuable.

My wife and I often saw this happen at antique auctions. Occasionally, an ugly item would come up for bid but initially receive no bids. Our auctioneer friend knew the solution to the problem. “If you buy this, you will be the only person with one.”

Once he said that, hands shot up, and bids poured in. Suddenly, something that held no value sold for unbelievable money because the scenario changed.

Economics calls this supply and demand. Prices drop when a large supply of something exists, but no one wants it. But prices rise if a limited supply exists and many people want it. Value is not always determined by the item itself but by who wants it and how many people crave it.

Value works differently with people, too. What others think I’m worth doesn’t matter. The writer of Genesis said God created people in His image. We are not identical to God, but we resemble Him in many ways. We can think, feel, love, and show emotion. The image of God in us makes us valuable.

The value of a soul hinges on whom we belong to. Having God as our creator doesn’t necessarily mean we belong to Him. The connection comes through faith in Christ. When that happens, we enter His family and become His child, not just His creation.

My Dad’s hobby was woodworking. He built many beautiful items, but if they didn’t come into his home, they were only his creations, not his personal property.

Value is further determined by what God says about us. He says we belong to Him and that no one can snatch us from His hand. No person or circumstance holds enough power to overpower God’s strong arm that holds us safely in His care.

My young students confused identity with performance. In her mind, Kobe held more importance than the others on the plane because he had fame in the basketball world. God, on the other hand, says our value has nothing to do with what we do but with who we are. And in Christ, we belong to the heavenly Father. That determines our value. Our doing is only proof of our appreciation for what God has done in our lives. We serve because of Who has served us.

Don’t determine your worth by what you do, but by whom you belong to.

Father, may I realize that You determine my true worth through my connection to You. 

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