Scary thought, this attempt to place a figure on the worth of a human soul. But sadly, it’s something that we—and I include myself—do sometimes subconsciously.
I found myself thinking about this earlier today as I was out grocery shopping. One of my favorite hobbies is couponing, and although my efforts pale in comparison to the folks on the famous TV show, I’ve been able to reel in some fun hauls. This morning I had my sights set on raiding the HEB shelves of Cinnamon Chex (love the stuff), Randalls of Ken’s salad dressing, and a bunch of other great deals.
As any serious couponer will tell you….it’s all about the numbers. We know how to pinch a quarter till you hear the eagle scream, so every. single. penny. counts. Especially, when you’re on a cash-only budget, planned out within an inch of its margins.
So this morning, right as I hit my first stop, I saw one of the regular clerks at the store sacking groceries. I don’t think his English is very good, but he has always had a smile to share with me as he has bagged my items. Today, after I finished checking out, he came outside a few seconds behind me. He saw me loading up all my loot into the back of the car, and kindly walked over to help me out.
Now, I’d love to be all virtuous and tell you that the first thing that crossed my mind was “WOW, what a perfect opportunity to share my faith with this nice man.”
But sadly, no.
My thoughts were turned to more earthly matters . . . like “OH GREAT. Now I’ve got to tip him. Rats. That’s totally going to mess up my budget.”
I figured I could try to make up the difference somewhere else along my route, so I grabbed a few extra bills out of my purse, along with a tract, and thanked him for his help. With a big smile and a nod, he shuffled away and I hopped in the car.
Suddenly, as I started the car up, I heard God speaking to me in that gentle, guiding voice I’m still learning to recognize as I go through life. It was as if God tapped me on the shoulder, shook His head patiently, and said, “Aaress, how can you place a price tag on the soul of a person? Wasn’t that man worth a few dollars?”
Talk about convicting.
How many times do we let a few dollars get in the way of listening to God?
Instead of obeying God and sponsoring a hungry child for $20.00 a month, we instead rationalize how we positively NEED our Chipotle or Starbucks fix each week. A summer mission trip doesn’t quite seem worth the $2,000.00 it will cost, yet for some reason, a vacation to Disney World for $4,000.00 seems like a bargain. Or after an event like a Bible Club or Vacation Bible School, do we subconsciously find ourselves doing the math afterward to see if the number of kids who got saved divided neatly into the cost of the electricity or air conditioning?
Praise God that He didn’t do the math before coming to earth to save each of us. He could have easily calculated how many times a week I turn my back away from heeding Him and decided that I just wasn’t worth the price of redemption.
It does not matter to God whether a life is on death row for committing an unspeakable crime, or whether it is the life of a tiny unborn infant, who might have been the result of an “unwanted” pregnancy. There is no such thing as an unwanted life. Man might not have wanted it to be born, but the Savior of the world, the Creator of the universe, the Redeemer of all mankind values each life as something beyond measure.
I am priceless. You are priceless.
It’s about time we started treating those around us as being priceless too.
[photo credit: Tracy O]