Sunday, September 7, 2008

How Much Am I Worth?

Have you ever been told you are good for nothing? Have you ever been feeling so low that you look up to see the surface of the ground? (That is very low, indeed!) Many people all over the world—even in this room, may feel they are worthless or near worthless because of something someone said one time in their lives or something that was repeated over and over again…until they believed the lie.

And that is just what it was: a lie. You are so valuable. You have worth. You are important to God and He has great plans for you that are for your well-being.

Well, how much ARE we worth? When we total the monetary value of the elements in our bodies and the value of the average person's skin, we arrive at a net worth of $4.50.

This value is, however, subject to change, due to stock market fluctuations. Since the studies leading to this conclusion were conducted by the U.S. and by Japan respectively, it might be wise to consult the New York Stock Exchange and the Nikkei Index before deciding when to sell! The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils invested many a hard- earned tax dollar in calculating the chemical and mineral composition of the human body, which breaks down as follows:

65% Oxygen; 
18% Carbon
; 10% Hydrogen; 3% Nitrogen; 
1.5% Calcium; 
1% Phosphorous
; 0.35% Potassium
; 0.25% Sulfur; 
0.15% Sodium; 
0.15% Chlorine; 
0.05% Magnesium;
0.0004% Iron.

Additionally, it was discovered that our bodies contain trace quantities of fluorine, silicon, manganese, zinc, copper, aluminum, and arsenic. Together, all of the above amounts to less than one dollar.

HOWEVER! The following is the price tag on the human body as based on a survey published in Wired magazine. It found that vital organs are no longer the most valuable body parts. Rather, bone marrow heads the list…priced at $23 million, based on 1,000 grams @ $23,000 per gram.

DNA can fetch $9.7 million, while extracting antibodies can bring $7.3 million. A lung is worth $116,400, a kidney $91,400 and a heart $57,000.

A women’s eggs are costlier than men's sperm. The survey found that a fertile woman could sell 32 egg cells over eight years for $224,000; however, for a man to earn the same amount, he would have to make 12 sperm donations a month for 20 years.

The prices are based on cost estimates taken from hospitals and insurance companies, and are based on projected prices only in the United States. Of course, the prices also assume that all these substances can be extracted from living tissue for sale.

Although this break down is illegal, unethical and in many cases also impossible, you should not feel like a million dollars anymore. You can feel like $45 million, instead!

I am convinced that if a child is told over and over again that they are subnormal, stupid, inferior, a nothing, over time—and a short time at that, they will believe it. If everyone here would tell one person in this room, THE SAME person, that they are so important to the growth of this Chapel, over time—a longer time—it might be believed. Might! One negative word hurts and does more harm than the good of a hundred praises.

Dr. Bob Smith (co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous) was the chapel speaker at a Christian school called Minnehaha Academy, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (date?). He was there for their annual Spiritual Emphasis Week. He spoke for 5 days on the theme, WHAT ARE YOU WORTH? In the privacy of the student’s hearts--they answered the question … not much. They truly meant it!

As teen-agers, the students had a very poor self-image. Perhaps it was (and still is) rather typical for teens and adults everywhere!

Dr. Smith kept asking his key question, WHAT ARE YOU WORTH? And the students kept answering in their hearts … not much.

During the week, he restated the question in relationship of their worth to their friends, to families, to themselves, and ultimately to the Lord. By the end of the week, they all knew something was taking place in all their hearts. All of a sudden, they truly believed that they were worth a lot to the Lord. The speaker built a strong biblical case to teach them … to persuade all of them … of their worth chiefly to Him. It was the beginning of a transformation in all of those who were there.

Start in the Old Testament and continued through the New Testament, we can underscore truths that He stated about our person. We may have to continue to do the same throughout our life. For example (to mention but a few) . . .

_ He created me in His own image. Not garbage/not throw away..
_ He knows me and calls me by name, as He did with Abraham, Moses, Gideon and others.
_ He has given talents and gifts to me . . . just as He has determined. 1 Corinthians 12:11)
_ He has written my name on the palm of His Hand.(Isaiah 49:16)
_ He indwells me, since the day I invited Jesus into my life.
_ He tells me that I am a co-worker and joint-heir with Him.
_ He has a plan for my life.
_ He has convinced me that I MATTER TO HIM.

While reading Exodus we can be blessed to focus on this phrase that He spoke to Moses … I am pleased with you, in Exodus 33:17. What an amazing phrase for Moses to hear—really for any of us to hear!

Moses’ life was far from perfect yet God was pleased with him. What would cause God to say that? Perhaps God was pleased because Moses trusted God, as strongly stated in God’s Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11. There we can read these words … Without faith it is impossible to please God (11:6). It also says specifically that Moses … persevered because he saw Him who is invisible (11:27).

Many of us cannot imagine that God is pleased with us. But Moses heard God tell him that … He was pleased with Him. Before, we heard that God is pleased with us too, as we trust Him. So add these words to your memory bank … GOD IS PLEASED WITH ME.

Not with doing wrong or selfish things, but because He does!

Dr. Smith’s teaching quickly started the process of transformation in many lives. That process is continuing to this day. There is a book, TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH, by Dr. William Backus, which can be helpful. He writes that too often we allow our lives to be shaped by lies that we have believed, all orchestrated by Satan. Kids on the playground, or by teachers or even parents perhaps, spoke these hurtful words years ago. The most important things for us to believe about ourselves do not come from others. Not even from us. We must believe the Truths that God says about us. It is never too late for the transformation process to begin … and to continue.

What do we do with this ‘stuff’ we carry?

We need to realize where our strength comes from. The Sunday School answer is: Jesus. But, does that help you?

Not really my role model of a Believer’s life, but Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Roosevelt, once said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” (You Learn by Living)

There is not doubt that hardships strengthen all of us. The best learners are the ones who have come through really great difficulty or even a tragedy and carry the depth of their experience with them. However, those who follow Christ, difficulties do much more than build our confidence. In fact, we tend to be stronger when we don’t feel confident or strong or even whole. Our eyes need to be off self. There are times it is not about growing stronger but knowing we are weak and that brings growth.

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:, wrote about this thing he called his ‘thorn in the flesh,’ which he begged God to remove from his life. Then he wrote this: 9 But He said to me, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” NIV

Is your life going to give into the pain of failures and setbacks? Or is your life going to press on toward the mark He has set up for you? Christ being our example, He pressed on in knowing His Father both loved Him and that He would never forsake Him. Do you have that kind of confidence in Him that assures you of your worth to Him?
Listen: “I am pleased with you…”

You may need to cut yourself some slack and allow healing to happen. You might not be as bad as you had thought you were. He finds great worth in you. He died for you.
Articles taken from Amy Simpson, Executive Director of Resources @ Christianity Today International, June 29, 2007
Lareau Lindquist, founder, Senior Associate, Barranabas International.
Dr. William Backus, Telling Yourself The Truth, Bethany House Publishers.
Web site: How Much Does the Human Body Worth?