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The Rev. Richard C. Lamb: What are you worth?

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- What do you think you're worth? Yesterday, I didn't feel worth a plugged nickel. In our materialistic society, we consider our worth through our bank account, our investments, our properties.

What are your greatest assets? Some may point to their home, or to family, health, friendships or education. A good, ongoing education, seeking to learn, is invaluable in my book, for it can be and often is creative and satisfying in everyday life. (It is also humbling, I might add!)

Watching the TV show "America's Got Talent" moved me to affirm that good, worthwhile entertainment is a wonderful diversion and sometimes inspirational. Good friends are invaluable! Even a vacation can be renewing, providing much needed rest and enjoyment.

The time is upon us when our vote is valuable to those running for public office. They will pull out all the stops to get us to lean their way. But once in a while, some stops in their "public pitch" would be most welcome! We are more valuable than having someone center their attention on us every four years or so.

Family is vital. They are a joy; their worth commands our highest thoughts. They are precious in our sight.

The followers of Jesus must have felt a sense of personal worth to be called to be his disciples. He was one of the great teachers of his day. The words of Jesus were uplifting, challenging and sometimes upsetting. The disciples were often at a loss for words, so much was taking place. Going back to their fishing nets must have been tempting.

One day as Jesus and his followers gathered for a common meal of a few roasted sparrows, Jesus posed the question they needed to hear. "Are you not of more value than many sparrows?" That was not a major lift, I grant you, but it centered on the question of their personal worth or value.

The Apostle Paul did not seem to be doing us any favors in saying, "We know only in part" (I Corinthians 13). Our society is not big on humility. We can easily become estranged from those who don't think or look like we do. That's a major departure from the two great commandments. Paul did say that the greatest gift of all was love, not sentiment. It's love that is expressed in kindness and mercy.

It's what we exalt that presents the heart of our true life story. But it is what God exalts in relationships and our relationship with Him that takes away our clouded thoughts. And that which lies at the pinnacle of truth is God's love for us, a love that is nailed down for us on an old rugged cross.

You and I are of infinite worth. We are His children and instruments of His grace.

Peace to you!Rev. Lamb is associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Charleston.


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