February 7, 2018
The history of the human race reveals the sad reality that not everyone places equal value on every human life. When Satan convinced the first humans to turn against Creator God, the man’s first response was to blame the woman. When the first children had an opportunity to obey God, Cain apparently saw less value in his brother, Abel, so he killed him. Personal value of self was higher than the value placed on others.
As time went by and the human race expanded, racism developed, slavery was practiced, and even murder became a part of the culture. Basic to this is the fact that one person thought less of another. The value of the individual was lost in the personal desire for power, wealth and control.
When Satan challenged Creator God’s authority and lost his position forever, the basic issue was value – he placed value on himself above the Creator. As the originator of sin, Satan introduced sin into the human race, and the sin nature affects each one of us. Our attitude toward one another is influenced by the value we place on each other. If we value ourselves more than we value others, we will treat them accordingly.
This gets very personal and practical in our marriage and family relationships. When we lose sight of love and respect and demand our rights, we are actually placing a higher value on ourselves than on the other person or persons involved. We may not be aware that this is happening. Using some form of control, we devalue the other person, often damaging their self-esteem as they come to believe they have little or no value.
It is easy for followers of Jesus who rightfully point out sin to do so in a way that suggests a lesser value of the individual because of their sin. If Jesus viewed us in this way, He would likely put levels of value on individuals based on the extent of our sin – which would leave all of us in trouble. Jesus places equal value on every individual – regardless of who we are or what we have done – and offers His Grace and forgiveness to everyone. I must learn to follow His example.
Pastor Bill Ehman