We are surrounded by an embarrassment of riches and have so many wonderful toys available to us. You name it. We have flat screen televisions, smart phones, and cars. It’s kind of interesting, though, when you look at the marketing machine in society.
Types of Obsolescence
There are two kinds of obsolescence.
There is…perceived obsolescence. That’s when we have a gadget of some kind and notice there’s a new phone that has come out, and ours isn’t quite doing what we wanted it to do anymore.
We can only save about 400,000 pictures on our phones and the new one says we can have 600,000 pictures. That’s a perceived obsolescence. There’s also a planned obsolescence which is where people make machines and different devices in such a way that they’re going to wear out after a while.
In the kingdom of God, we don’t have planned or perceived obsolescence. When God created people he created them for eternity. There is an eternal value in every single person. In fact C.S. Lewis put it exactly this way when he said,
“You have never sat next to a mere mortal.”
Created in God’s Image
Every person that you have seen today on television, you run across at the store, at church, at work, your neighbors down the street have infinite value. They are created in the image and likeness of God.
One of the great scriptures that really brings this out is found in the Book of Wisdom. It has a beautiful reading about the value of people. It always reminds me of a great quote I received from Anthony Ensom, from the Magnificat.
One New Year’s Eve, as my wife and I were reading the Magnificat to ring in the New Year, we came across a great idea of his. He said that, “God is the only one who can take just a piece of dust and give life to it, and stretch that piece of dust from here to eternity.”
I read that and all I could think was, “Wow.”
It’ll go on forever and ever. God creates people with infinite value. We have eternal life, are able to cooperate with God in creation. What an amazing gift.
Think about everyone in your life; your children, your colleagues, and your neighbors. Each of them has such amazing value. We need to change the way we look at people. No matter how dirty they are, no matter their place in society, their income, education, or whatever it might be, every single person has infinite value.
The first chapter of the Book of Wisdom says,
“God did not make death. Nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have been and the creatures of the world are wholesome and there is not a destructive drug among them. Nor any domain of the netherworld on earth for justice is undying. For God formed man to be imperishable. The image of his own nature he made him, but by the envy of the devil, death entered the world and they who belong to his company experience it.”
Envy vs. Jealousy
Scripture says that it was through envy that the devil came into the world. Isn’t that interesting?
You know what envy is? Envy is different than jealousy. Jealousy is “I want what you have.” Envy is “I don’t want you to have what you have.”
Sometimes our lives are so focused on things and measuring our lives to other people, based on what we have or our status. The truth of the matter is, the real value for a human being is not what you accumulate and those things that you have, or what you get in the will.
What is of real value is the fact that you’re created in the image and likeness of God and you’re going to live for eternity. Don’t let anybody and what they have, take the joy out of being an eternal creation of God.
Every Person Is Valuable
Let’s look at one another with new eyes. Each person is so valuable that if they were the only one on earth, Jesus still would have come and died for them.
Let us rejoice in other people’s blessings and let us mourn with those who are mourning. This is what Jesus taught us.