Last night our family was talking about the value of paintings. Joe mentioned to the kids that he remembers a long time ago when the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth purchased a Van Gogh and that they paid more for it than any of their previous exhibits. Numbers in the millions of dollars for paintings baffled our kids, so one finally spoke up and said "WHAT is the picture of?". She was thinking what on earth could someone have painted that could be worth so much money. I told her that it's not what is in the picture but WHO painted it makes it so valuable. It was painted by a master artist.
Then God spoke to me once again about the value of people. People are valuable just because God made them and we should treat them as such. But do we? Do we treat people as the masterpieces that they are? It doesn't matter what they've done with their lives or their 'quality of life'. They are precious just because they were made by God in His image. They have additional value because of the price that He paid for them...the blood of His only Son. It doesn't matter that they don't have a job, or a house. It doesn't matter that they are still in their mother's belly. It doesn't matter that they are old or feeble. It doesn't matter that they don't have the same political views as me. It doesn't matter that their belief system infuriates me. It doesn't matter that they color on my walls and mess up my desk and aren't conscientious about cleaning up after themselves.
People are valuable to God. He made us and then he bought us with the most precious commodity there is. Himself. He didn't wait for us to try and do something to prove our value or to straighten up our lives. He loved us when we were unlovable. He brought us back to Himself when we wanted nothing to do with Him. Do I demonstrate that love of who God that loved us when we hated Him or do I portray the selfish kind of love who wants people to act a certain way before I will bless them with my love and acceptance?
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8)
I love to go to yard sales and hearing stories of people who bought something at a yard sale for a quarter that ended up being a work of art worth millions of dollars excites me. Have you ever heard a story of someone who found a painting in their attic and took it to an appraiser and they discover it's worth a fortune. What if you discovered a masterpiece by Van Gogh in your attic? The real deal. How would you treat it? We we are daily surrounded masterpieces. We live with them, work with them, encounter them on the street and in our neighborhood. Works of God...the Greatest Master of all. How do we treat the works of art that He has created? People are so much more valuable than anything created by man. They were created by God. Imagine that. A masterpiece by God made to have a relationship with Him.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)
I pray that I will see people for the great works of art that they are. That I will see that God is not finished with any of us, but He made us and is working in and on all of us. We are all still in process. He is molding and making us into His image. Give me eyes to see the value of God's masterpieces and to treat them as worth His precious blood. May I treat humanity with the respect that they deserve. May I treat each masterpiece, each person, as priceless.