Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Placing Value

I've been thinking about the act of placing value on others. We place value on ourselves easily enough. In fact, I believe I am quite enamored with myself most of the time. But how do I value (or devalue) others? A few observations.

When I was in college, a friend told me about something her now-husband said to her while they were broken up. "I'm learning to value women as individuals created in God's image," he said. "Not just potentials." How many times do I consider someone of the opposite sex with the selfish perspective described here. When you view people as "potentials," you are placing value not in them, but in what they can possibly offer you.

A second thought: Don't underestimate the value of valuing things those you value, value. Got that? I enjoy talking about myself and indulging in conversation about things I love, as much as the next guy. But do I take time to explore another person's values and honor them? This could be a simple thing, like learning more about a particular subject someone cares about in order to be able to converse intelligently on the topic. This assigns value. Or it could be more complex, such as honoring a perspective that is not your own.

I have a friend who is very courageous. He enjoys trying new things and taking risks. Sometimes these risks turn out brilliantly; sometimes they don't. Being a perfectionist, I place less value on risk-taking and may even write it off as foolishness at times. But if I truly want to value my friend, I must consider how God has created him. His strengths may be different than mine, but that only means he can accomplish things for God's kingdom that I never could. Embracing this view of conflicting personality traits can increase cooperation and allow each person to feel valued for his or her unique qualities.

There is great power in valuing others. I think this was what Paul was talking about when he told the Philippians: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (2:4). Peter's advice in 1 Peter 4:8 also addresses this: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Value proceeds from love. When you love someone, you will naturally seek to look past differences and see value.


At 12:06 PM, Anonymous kelsey said...

This is good Suz. Good stuff to think about!

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Deanna Regina said...

i agree...good things on which to think and act!

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I found the blog through Becky's once I stopped laughing at her Brownie Smear post.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Anna H. said...

Thanks for making me stop and think, Suzanne! We all need to think more of others and less of ourselves!!!


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