Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Worth Less or Worthless?

USA Today’s headline: “Families’ wealth dives 39% in 3 years.” Unfortunately, this message, “you are worth less,” will be interpreted by many as, “you are worthless.” Think about the unemployed fathers whose worth is tied to their ability to provide for their families. A few months ago a 36-year-old father killed his children and committed suicide because he was out of work and didn’t want to burden his wife. A few years ago in L.A. a man shot his wife, 5 children and himself, leaving a note that he and his wife had been fired from their jobs.

Now I do know these are extreme cases. But the fact remains. For people who define their ‘worth’ by worldly standards, ‘worth less’ equals ‘worthless.’ Perhaps it is a good time to reevaluate how we are defining worth.

In his book, “The Life of God in the Soul of Man,” 1677, Henry Scougal wrote: “The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love.” It’s true now as it was then: the price paid for an object establishes its value. You and I were worth the life of God’s Son. Now we are exhorted to “walk worthy” of this great love. People invested in this world are sure to have ‘buyers’ remorse.’ But that will never happen to us if we are investing ourselves in God’s eternal kingdom.


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    One of things I learned while I was in Israel (and at Flea Markets for that matter) while I was haggling for trinkets and baubles is that worth is determined by the willing buyer / willing seller paradigm. For us, our pen-penultimate worth for a relationship with God is determined as being worthy of the blood and life of Jesus. However, as the buyer, I get the penultimate say, in that I can refuse the offer. But what lasts for eternity (the ultimate declation) is that though we are worthy because we are the love object of God, if we refuse that valuation, God is gentlemanly enough to accept our decision. Sigh!
    Godspeed! -lq-

  2. Thanks Larry. In writing about our 'worth,' I am a bit cautious not to give the impression that our worth is what motivated God to give up His son for us. I do believe it is God's goodness, His glory, that is the reason and initiation. He is the only worthy one. We receive His worth in Christ. Apart from that, we are not worthy at all. Christ prayed that we would enter in to that valued, love relationship between the Father and Son and Holy Spirit in which they 'value' one another's worth above all. Hard to imagine how anyone would reject that, or how we can treat it with any ambivalence. sigh...