Webster defines value in part as “relative worth, utility, or importance.” This means we give value to something when we recognize it has something to offer, something worth keeping, or something not easily found elsewhere. Time has value. Rare coins have value. Family heirlooms have value. And most importantly, people have value.
Let me say that again: all people.
I believe on this day–a day set aside to celebrate love–we must remember everyone has value. God doesn’t want us to value just those people who bless us in some way; He wants us to value everyone.
How do we do this?
How do we love?
We value others. We treat everyone with the knowledge that Jesus did for them what He did for us. Read with me a passage from 1 John:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:7-21 ESV).
Fact: God created each of us. Knowing that the God of the universe made me gives me value. Knowing the God of the universe made everyone gives everyone value. No one is a mistake. Everyone has value.
Fact: Jesus died on the cross for our sins–not just some of our sins–all of our sins. And He died on the cross for everyone’s sins–not just the sins of some. By dying for everyone’s sins, Jesus gave everyone value, for God would not choose to die for someone without worth.
Conclusion: Everyone has value.
Therefore, knowing today that everyone has value, let’s choose to love everyone. No, we do not need to give everyone we meet some mushy Valentine’s card or a bouquet of flowers or take them on a date. But we can recognize their value and let them know they are precious in God’s sight. We can speak nicely to them and treat them with respect. We can build them up, not tear them down. We can smile at the one who looks like she she needs encouragement. We can put our arm around the one walking the road of adversity to let him know he is not alone. We can befriend the one on the outskirts of the social scene. In short, we can love others as God has loved us.
Now, I am not sure where you stand today in relation to how you view yourself, but if you have not heard this spoken to you recently, let me be the one to remind you today that you are valuable. You are! You are not a mistake, you are here for a purpose, and you have a worth beyond compare. God loves you, and so do I. Happy Valentine’s Day!