I had often wondered what made one painting worth more than another. Is it the name of the artist who painted it? Is it the quality or complexity of the work? Perhaps how old it is?
Recently a painting sold for $55 million dollars at Christie’s auction house. Picasso painted it in 1902. It portrays a plain-dressed woman sitting with her arms crossed, perhaps lost in thought. In my opinion, there’s nothing especially fantastic about this painting. I wouldn’t pay $20 for it. However, I am not an art expert. Obviously the new owner saw something in it that I didn’t.
When this painting was auctioned, the bidding was very intense. More than one person was willing to spend tens of millions of dollars for it. I don’t know what made them think this painting was worth that price, but I do know that the old adage is true: a painting is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.
When someone wants to sell a painting, he doesn’t look up the Kelly Blue Book value and sell it to the first person who comes forth with the list price. No, instead he tries to sell it to the highest bidder. And once it is sold, the painting’s worth becomes the final selling price (assuming the buyer got what he paid for, and not a forgery). it’s a simple concept that governs the buying and selling of many things.
What determines your worth? Is it what you look like? What family you were born into? Your achievements? Your stock portfolio? Actually, it’s none of these things. Your worth is based on the same principle as that of a work of art. It is based on how much God paid for you:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…
– 1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV)
God the Father thought enough of you to send His Son to die for you. As God in human flesh, Jesus’ life is of infinite value. When you accept Jesus’ death as the payment for your sin, your worth also becomes just as precious. Your value becomes bound with His. It has nothing to do with who you are. It has everything to do with who God is.
When Jesus Christ died for you, He redeemed (bought back) your life from an eternity in hell. We were God’s enemies, objects of His wrath. But even in this condition, Christ still died for us (Romans 5:8). We may unwittingly spend our money on forgeries, but you can be sure God knew what He paid for, …and yet He still thought us worth saving.
This is how you can know that God will never leave you or forsake you. The next time you have doubts as to your worth in God’s eyes, the next time you think He doesn’t care what happens to you, think of how much it cost Him to save you. Think of His investment. If you spent a million dollars on a painting, would you throw it away? Would you use it as a throw rug or a dart board? No, you would take care of it, otherwise it would be just as if you threw the million dollars away. Because we have been bought at so much greater a price, God will not mistreat us or abandon us. It may seem so at times when we go through great trials, but that’s just God’s way of improving us.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
– 2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
There is great peace in knowing God is for us, that He considers valuable. If you are having a hard time accepting this, I suggested reading and meditating on the following passages:
Psalm 138:8, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28-39, Ephesians 2:4-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
Remember, your worth does not depend on what you or others think of yourself. It depends on what God thinks of you.