What happens when a priceless God purchases so-called worthless humans?
I say so-called because I could not find where God devalued people in the Bible; people devalued themselves or others. I asked a few of my church friends and heard this answer: He freed us so now we are free to serve him as slaves. Hmmm, happy slavery did not sound much like a rescue or an improvement.
The point, I was told, I was missing was that now I could serve him out of gratitude. Fulfilling my duty and obligation to him were the highest measures of this gratitude. I chewed on their answer. How is going from one slave position to another better? There had to be more to the “Good News” or it was not good news.
As I pondered this thought, our organic beef ranch grew. More and more people were reading about the poisons cattle eat and are exposed to as they move from pasture to plate. More and more people wanted our clean organic meat. The value of healthy food and the effort to produce it was reflected in its price: people paid for what they valued. It hit me one day as we gathered some cattle. The value of the product sets the purchase price. You do not pay top dollar for junk food. So what I was being taught about people was a lie.
We are not worthless junk. Priceless God gave himself as the payment for priceless humanity. Oh, man, my whole world turned right side up. No longer would my value increase by what I did or knew. And no longer would my value decrease by what I did not do or by what I did not know. We are precious to him! This was the answer to my original question, but it opened up a whole new world of ideas. Once you settle the value of who you are, no one and nothing can build you up or tear you down.
Establishing our value is one of the biggest steps toward living a whole and unbreakable life. It’s a beautiful place. My value was set at priceless...forever. Talk about stress relief!
My entire life up to that point had been about surviving the pecking order because most of society is set up as hierarchies. That means that the people at the top are considered the most valuable based on their knowledge, position, or possessions. As you go down the ranks, people’s value decreases because they know less, do less, or own less. Logically, the goal in life then becomes to climb the ladder because you not only go up in value, but you also gain authority. And authority brings power. In this set up performance, power, and control become the most valued positions in society. Whether it is a family, a government, a church, or a corporation most of our systems are organized this way.
This was the external resistance that I unknowingly pushed against when I decided to step outside the box. And this was the internal resistance that contributed to my poor health. It is the stress that comes with surviving your ever-changing significance.
Brilliant researcher, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, studies the effects of stress on baboons who organize themselves in social hierarchies called troops. In 2015, he detailed his findings in the documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer. The baboons who live at the top of the hierarchy have the most control and best health. Physical examinations revealed they had lower cortisol levels, slower heart rates, and lower blood pressure. Those at the bottom, the “have-nots,” had plaquing of their arteries, cardiovascular disease, and shorter life spans. Sound familiar?
Human studies sadly confirm the animal studies. In a forty-year project looking at 18,000 men working in the British Civil Service, the higher your status, the lower your risk for stress-related disease. Likewise, the lower a man’s status, the shorter his life span. The stress from lack of control and the shifting value of people’s lives literally steals years from them. Setting all people’s value at priceless got rid of hierarchies and established a single plane heir-archy. This leveling of the playing field is a major health game changer.
In fact, it is a whole life transformation. I hope as you celebrate Easter this weekend that you make time to ponder your priceless value and the one who declared it for all time.
It is a beautiful time to be alive! Hierarchies are obsolete and the individual has the power to not only change history, but to make it better.
If you enjoyed today's blog, keep the joy going by reading the rest of A Big, Unbreakable Life, on sale April first through the18th. If