This is a fine question to ask. Why do sometimes you pay $75 to dine with your family versus other restaurant experiences you have to expend $150? Is it simply the quantity of food? Certainly the number of persons eating also affects the cost. Why are some hotel or motel rooms double or triple the price of other rooms, which may ironically be referred to as “value” deals?
The answer lies in the perceived worth of an item. If I perceive that a Rolling Stones concert is worth more than a local band, as many people do – for better or worse – I am more likely to expend the money to see them play rather than to withhold paying for the experience.
Other ways that money is used (or misused) reflect what we as humans value. Dave Ramsey, the famous money guru, has quoted the Scripture Proverbs 6:5 which talks about us escaping from debt as a “gazelle.” It means that debt can ensnare us, and we as fallible humans can turn to it as a crutch in our lives – like carnal pleasure or pride – when the response should be that we should run from (or pay back) these things. Debt can be valued too highly. That’s not to say that all debt is inherently bad… but we do need to examine cautiously the reasons for which the money is being borrowed.
Put simply, our value at is essence is pronounced to us by God Almighty. Every one of us was created in His image (Gen. 1:27). This gives us a sense of responsibility for how we steward the gifts given to us. As Christians, we can engage in God’s Word and practise a regular quiet time in the morning, for instance. We can value fasting, praying for the local and international church, fellowshipping with other believers and sharing our faith with those who do not know Him yet. The concept of grace, of course, is fundamental to Christianity because Jesus taught us that even though as God’s creation we continually fall short, if we turn to Him in repentance, we can be granted forgiveness of our sins. It doesn’t make sense on the face of it, but it is the “free gift of God” we should accept (Eph. 2:8).
There is a certain fluidity to the chaos of our every day living, problem-solving and work. When we rely on Jesus to run our lives, we can rest in that failure is not the be-all and end-all. Like an entrepreneur, we can rebound and tackle what lies ahead knowing that our Creator cares for us. We can value and hold in high esteem the things that He is concerned about. Like poverty, the downtrodden. Those who are trapped in cycles of addiction or self-pity, “to seek and save the lost” (Matt. 18:11; Lk. 19:10).
Another example of value is through good customer service. When I was fresh out of my undergraduate degree, and before I went to Teacher’s College, I worked for eight months on a Convergys contract for the big company AT&T. Though I got paid minimum wage, we were thoroughly trained on the software and skills necessary to excel in our job. Even today, I use what I learned in my present job to negotiate, and to bring value to the work I do.
How can you value the things that He values today?