Thanks so much, Reagan!
The shouts of the auctioneer cast out over the calculating eyes of the crowd.
“Come on folks. We gotta nice strong lad here. He’d be able to do any sorts or labors you would need. Now, let’s start the bidding at…say $75.”
The boy tried to keep his head down, but the auctioneer yanked his head up with a harsh jerk.
“75! Do I hear 75?”
Several men called out, announcing their interest and raising the price of the frightened African boy to $100. After several more attempts by the auctioneer, the boy was sold for $115.
$115. That was deemed as being his maximum value: his worth.
Well what are you worth? If you were put up on that auction block today, what kind of price would you fetch? How much are you worth?
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.
In both the example of the slave trade, and the cup of water, the value of the object was determined by its practical value to the processor. 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 to the slave trade and material things…worth is not intrinsic. Value is relative.
But we are not slaves; we are not objects…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.
That’s right. We are often getting our views of self-worth the same way a slave or 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.
This truth is uncomfortably apparent with the American female. As the culture has so masterfully taught them, many girls 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.
What these girls doing when they place all of their self-worth on their bodies? Well, they are equating themselves to a microwave, 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.
Guys will often get their ideas of self-worth from what other people think of them as well. How good at sports they are--how talented at one thing or another they are--will often give them their ideas of self-worth.
But again, we are equating ourselves with practical appliances and slaves 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 self-esteem 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. That person 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. If Jesus is our master--our savior—then His opinion of us is the only one that really matters. 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. 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, 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.
Back to me (Hannah), here are the videos this made me think of! Both are well worth your time watching. The man in this first video is the lead singer of the band Tenth Avenue North, by the way.