Scarcely will a man lay down his life for others, although perhaps for a friend. Life thus shows itself to be intrinsically priceless. Those opposed to abortion know this instinctively. We hear stories of soldiers paying the ultimate price to protect their buddies. A medal of valor rewards heroism that all of the money in the world can't buy.
In a sense, we lay down our lives every day as we exchange time on this planet for things of value. We spend irreplaceable time. Why? Providing for our family? Accumulating possessions? Unfortunately, we soon realize that we can't take things with us. Everything we accumulate is left behind when we die. Who'll enjoy them then? Not us. We'll be dead. I've heard it said the only thing you can take to heaven with you is your family or friends, those you lead to Christ. Everything else you leave behind.
But what about people? Do you truly value people? Are human beings worth sacrificing for? I've seen people possessing power mistreat those around them. I've learned to place employers into two categories: users or investors. Some bosses discard people like interchangeable parts. Abuse them, wear them out, disregard their value, make them quit, then find a cheaper replacement. Other owners are investors. They allow employees to learn from mistakes, train them, teach them to do better, value their loyalty, and groom them for a long career. This is a win-win scenario for everyone.
Ideas like "liberty" are worth dying for. How much more so are people? I make note of the fact that Christ on the cross died, not for ideas, but for people. Jesus loves people. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whoever believes in him won't perish but have eternal life. People are worth the ultimate price, according to God.
Every human being has unique worth. Each person is a treasure, highly valued. We ought to show our appreciation more. I was privileged a few weeks ago to witness the transition of a true friend from earth to heaven. A fall at his home led to Chris dying. He departed this mortal realm and entered into eternal rest in glory.
As we watched while Chris lay dying, I was impressed by two things. First, the humiliation of death. It gripped its harsh hold on his body and refused to let go. At the same time, I saw the undying power of unashamed love being displayed by family and friends who, like Chris, knew Jesus as Savior. There was no wailing, no anguish, only quiet praise and enduring hope; entrusting Chris to God.
A lot of people didn't know that Chris served as co-chaplain in a prison ministry. I went with him to one of his meetings. He often cooked special food, his gift of hospitality on display. Chris and fellow workers gave hope and counsel to scores of troubled inmates. Their lives were made better, directed toward right living and happiness, because Chris taught them the gospel and witnessed about God's salvation. He was a friend to men who needed a helping hand.
Years ago, Chris and his wife moved into our home and lived with us for nine months. His business venture failed and they were being evicted. Many years later, my wife and I lived with them for six months after we returned from Africa, homeless, but ready to settle back into NW Arkansas. Not many people have close friends like that.
Love lasts forever. Love bears good fruit. Jesus proved that people are priceless.
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Editorial on 09/25/2019
Print Headline: Priceless people