When I was a kid, my best friend and I would collect baseball cards. We would walk to the little store in the neighborhood to buy packages of Tops baseball cards. After we got back to his house, we would go through our cards and look them up in a book to see how much they were worth. The book had the value of all baseball cards in it. The most expensive card listed was for a player named Honus Wagner. It was worth several hundred thousand dollars. We dreamed of getting a Honus Wagner card one day.
In 2007, a Honus Wagner card auctioned for $2.7 million. Originally, the card came free in a can of tobacco, but now it was worth the millions to the person willing to pay for it. The market value of anything is based on what someone is willing to pay and auctions are proof of that. What made this card so valuable was that it was in mint condition. The better the condition, the greater the value. Who knows what that card will sell for the next time it goes to auction.
Sometimes we look at our lives like baseball cards. We think some are more valuable than others. We are always wondering what we are worth. If only there was a book where we could look ourselves up in and see. Of course, then we would wonder who is the most valuable. Who is the Honus Wagner of our generation? Who’s life is in mint condition? We look at our own life and know we are battered, wrinkled, and have torn edges. We somehow think that devalues us.
You are not a baseball card. Your value however, is based on the market value of what some is willing to pay. You read that right. God paid the highest price for you. To purchase you and to give you freedom, He gave up His one and only son. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT). He doesn’t care how messed up your life is and that it’s not in mint condition. He sees Honus Wagner type value in you.
Your value is not based on what you or anyone else thinks. It is based on the price Jesus was willing to pay for you. The next time those thoughts of worthlessness come into your mind, remind them that you were bought with a price. When someone treats at you like you’re worthless, don’t dwell on it. They don’t determine your value. God does, and He already said you are worth everything He has and more. The market value for you is Heaven’s firstborn. Don’t let anyone cause you to think you’re worth anything less than that.
I believe that there are several habits we as Christians can adopt in our lives to become the type of believer we truly aspire to be. While Hebrews 11 has compiled a list of heroes of the faith for us, there have been many people who have lived since that time whom we can learn from as well. If I were to ask you to think of a person, past or present, who exemplified a life of faith as a believer, you could probably think of a name quickly. Whether they were written about in the Bible, history, or have just touched your life in some way, they have habits in their life that you and I can adopt into our own lives to become that type of Christian.
To me, one of the greatest habits we can adopt is the habit of love. In John 13:35, Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples when we show love for each other. There’s no greater habit than to be able to love others the way that God loves them. To be able to do that though, we have to change the lenses that we use to look at people. We have to see them through God’s eyes and not our own.
The least valuable person on earth is worth enough to die for in His eyes. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). Romans 5:8 puts it this way, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love was not dependent on our actions and involved Him doing something for our good. It wasn’t just words.
It’s easy to say you love the least of these, but God is looking for more than words. He’s looking for love in action. He wants us to show His love to a broken world because that’s what can bring healing and worth. He wants us to feed and clothe the homeless, embrace those with HIV or AIDS, and to give grace to those who least deserve it. That’s the kind of love He has shown you and I. We are to do no less.
I John 3:28 say, “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action” (GNB). Having the habit of love in our life doesn’t mean we sit around and talk about the problems in our world. It means we go out and do something about it. You’ll never solve homelessness, poverty, or other things that cause brokenness, but you can do something about it for one person. Andy Stanley said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” Don’t let the enormity of the brokenness in this world keep you on the sidelines. Instead, let the love of Christ help you to run to all the crises in this world with open arms.