I had an iPhone 4 for some time until recently, when I upgraded to an iPhone 7. I really didn't want to get a different phone, except it was slowly down and eventually it wouldn't run at all. I also wanted to get an app so I could communicate with my family in Russia better. I usually don't have my phone out during class, but many times I would get that look from a student that said "You have THAT phone?" which somehow made me not as cool or hip as someone else with a newer model.
Has anyone wondered when people became valued by what they have rather than who they are? We're constantly bombarded with advertisements that tell us we will have more value if we have this type of shoes or if our teeth are a certain color or look a certain way. We've all been guilty of it - you see someone in the latest fashion and give them more attention than someone who is dressed in something more old fashioned, and potentially start to think the one in the latest fashion is somehow more valuable to society than the other. Maybe it's always been around - those with more money feel they are more entitled to certain privileges over those who don't. The church in Corinth certainly favored those with means over those who didn't.
Is it always about what things a person has, though? Do we sometimes find less value in certain people because of the color of their skin or their country of origin? Isn't that what racism is about - that one race deserves certain rights while others aren't worthy of those rights? Why is it we too often fail to look beyond skin color or language and not stop to see that all people have worth? The same can be said of people with different levels of mental retardation. Can we sometimes be guilty of thinking they have less value than others? Sometimes I'm afraid that we are becoming a society that also puts less value on the elderly, too.
Can we sometimes, too, start to think that God has the same prejudices? Can we start to think that God favors those with more things and wealth or that He values people of a certain age or ethnicity? We need to stop and realize that Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." First of all, Jesus died for every single person in the world. He saw that all had value because we were all created in God's image. Second, though, it doesn't say that Christ died for us because we were worthy or because we had wealth or of a certain skin color. Our sin kept us away from His presence. There was nothing lovable in us, and yet, that was when He sent Jesus to die for our sins.
I don't know about you, but the next time that person crosses my path that I feel is inferior to me because of what they don't have or how they dress or talk or what they look like, I'm going to stop and remember that I putting up barriers that God never intended to be put up. I'm going to be thankful that God never put up those physical standards, and gave standards that could be attained by everyone. God showed us what true value is - let's do the same!
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