From The Garden Bench - Value
Words by David Hollows
How many times have you heard the phrase about the younger generations? They know the price of everything and the cost of nothing.
Recently two celebrities in a TV programme were given a scenario where their house was on fire and they had the opportunity to go into the house to save 1 valuable object. One celebrity explained that the valued object would be an envelope of key documents such as a passport. The other celebrity stated that photographs would be saved. One person was practical and the other had a different emphasis.
In the famous radio programme, Desert Island Discs, the celebrity is allowed 8 songs, 1 book and 1 luxury object to take to the desert island. What would you choose?
During the conoravirus period, our values as a society were demonstrated in a different way; on Thursday evenings at 8.00p.m. people stood at their doorstep and clapped or banged kitchen instruments to show appreciation for NHS and key workers, the latter being low paid, regarded as being low-skilled and yet vital in the care sector.
Have our values as a society changed from being 1 object to be taken to a desert island to a highly visible appreciation of people we rely on
Photo by Josh Appel via Unsplash
Some other questions for you to ponder:
What do you value and value the most? Health, a good-sized bank account, How do you measure your values? An art collection or a dinky toy cars collection, What do you value in others? Promptness, politeness, honesty, Who do you value the most and why? Family, friends and the stability they offer, What are your personal values? What do you value the most about yourself?
Some of these are tough questions and often we do not even think about them, let alone address them. So here’s another tough one for you;
What is the value of a human soul?
The Christian Faith is very clear about the value of the human soul; For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life ( John chapter 3 verse 16).
This verse is probably the most remembered verse in the Bible because it reminds us that the Bible is a series of stories of the relationship God has with people such as Moses, Joseph, David, Ruth, Mary, Paul and many others.
For this is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel says the Lord; I will print My laws upon their minds, even their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts: and I will be their God and they shall be my people. (Hebrews chapter 8 verse 10).
However, it is in Jesus that we clearly see the values of God; consideration; Jesus always puts others first; He could have walked away from the leper but instead He healed him (Matthew chapter 8 verses 2 and 3) respect; the clearance of the money lenders and stall keepers in the Temple demonstrates the respect Jesus has for God and His expectations (Matthew chapter 21 verses 12 and 13).
Compassion - Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd caring for His sheep (John chapter 10 verses 11 to 17) and compassion in the many healings Jesus performed servanthood; in the story of the Last Supper Jesus demonstrated what this should look like for His disciples (John chapter 13 verses 3 to 17).
Love - the love that Jesus showed to His mother when on the cross (John chapter 19 verses 25 to 27), the commands to love which Jesus gave His disciples; love one another as I have loved you (John chapter 15 verses 9 to 12) and the love for God as revealed in the Gethsemane Prayer; ‘not my will but yours be done’ (Luke chapter 22 verses 41 and 42).
Jesus told stories where value is a key factor:
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father figure is often accepted as being representative of God whose love never gives up, his forgiveness is certain and in his mercy he never turns away (Luke chapter 15).
In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke chapter 10) the values of the various characters are under extreme scrutiny yet Jesus calls us to ‘go and do likewise’ and hold the values of the Good Samaritan.
So, how important is your soul to God?
(Philippians chapter 2 verses 5 to 11) Paul explains to the believers at Philippi that Jesus left Heaven, came to earth to live as a human, die as a human then return to life and God; such is the value that God places on your soul. God gave everything that we might have relationship with Him now and spend eternity with Him. God values you as his child.
Do your values match those of God? How important is your soul to God?
You may find the following hymns useful; All the way my Saviour leads me (Mission Praise 22) And can it be (Mission Praise 33)
Photo by d d via Unsplash
The following prayers may help you;
Holy Spirit of God guide us, for we would follow Jesus. Open our mind and heart to his truth; enliven our imagination to his presence; excite our emotion to his offered love; increase our gratitude for his living, dying and rising; and strengthen our commitment that we may walk in step with him, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
We praise you, Jesus, because you show us that God is love; a love which reaches to all people, which does not count the cost of loving and never ends. Forgive us when we love ourselves and not you.
we praise you, Jesus, because you are the Way; you are the way to God; you lived the way you want us to live, you guide us on God’s way of life. Forgive us when we take our own way and not yours.
We praise you, Jesus, because you are the Truth; you are the truth about God, you show us the truth about ourselves, you show us how to live as true human beings. Forgive us when we think we know better than your truth. We praise you, Jesus, because you are the Life; you lived life perfectly; you gave us the example for life, you help us to live life to the full. Forgive us when we live for ourselves and not for you. Amen.
God bless you