“Value” is an interesting word. We talk about how valuable something is, or how something has value, or is a value. Yet, that value is not really standard. The saying goes that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” What is important / significant / valuable to one person is worthless to another. One person sees “high art” another sees “junk”. One sees “junk” and another sees “potential”. Even the value of money is dependent upon the person and situation. To some people, money is everything! They seek after it even at the cost of the people around them. To others, money is nothing but a tool… and not a very good one at that!
So it should be no surprise that what Christ or God values can be very different than what we value. The disciples came to Jesus at one point and asked Him, “Who then is the greatest (has the most value) in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus response is, unexpectedly, a child. One must have faith as a child, and anyone who receives a child in His name, receives Him.
What’s more, anyone who causes a child to stumble (away from God) has done such a grave danger that he may as well have been drowned… not that Christ is condoning murder. This is such an issue that Jesus give His disciples the analogy that if their eye causes them to stumble, they need to pluck it out.
The analogy of value seems to continue with the picture of the flock of sheep. When one sheep wanders off, Christ says that He will leave the entire flock of sheep to seek out the ONE that is lost! He values each person so much, that He would leave everything else behind to rescue one lost soul. If that doesn’t define our value to Him, i don’t know what will.
He goes on even further. We must value others enough to not only discipline them, and kick them out when they refuse to accept the truth, but we must also forgive them as well! So when a man / woman sins against you, hurts you, and your pride, you must be willing to forgive; not just 7 times, but 7, 70 times (or as many as it takes). Yet that forgiveness does not preclude discipline and even to the removal of the offender. Why, because God values His creation, even to the point of understanding the need for discipline and the removal of the cancerous.
Do we value His whole creation? Or do we only care about those who directly affect us?