What Do You Value?

So, what do you value?  I have recently started to ponder this thought.  As a husband, I value my wife.  As a father, I value my children.  As a pastor (and as a Christian) I value the ministry that God has led me to serve in.  I would imagine many of you value, at least as far as your situation will allow (as a mother, as a wife…), value things in a similar way.  While I try to hold to those values, I have fallen short on several occasions.

I believe that my wife knows I value her, and sometimes, I am sure I have made her feel less than valued.  Of course,  being the amazing husband I am, I realize when I have done this (either by my own observation, or a gentle reminder from my wife) and I do what I can to rectify the situation.  As a father, my boys know that I value them.  Again, I have missed this mark from time to time.  My oldest child will ask why I come home so late.  My youngest will say that he misses me.  Those usually serve as a nudge that it is time to pack up early go home to play with my boys.

As a pastor, or as a Christian, I should value the ministry that God has called me to.  It has been said by many others before me that our ministry should never replace our relationship with Christ.  To me, that means that we should focus on being Christ-like.  If I thought I was the best youth pastor ever but I have forgotten how to live like Christ, I am doing those in the ministry God led me to a disservice.  You see, if we truly want to be like Christ, we have to value people.

Looking at the life of Christ, we see the value of people to our Lord.  Even as a boy, Luke tells us that Jesus was about His Fathers business when He was teaching in the temple, investing in the lives of the leaders.  We see similar examples with the woman at the well, the adulteress, the children who wanted to come see him, and in His relationships with the disciples.  Jesus made time for people.  It was not in addition to His ministry, it WAS His ministry.  Jesus knew that people were important, and He made it clear that he valued them.

Today, it seems that we, as believers, have forgotten how important people can be.  We become so focused on the show or numbers that we forget that without people, we would not have any of those things.  This is not to say that we should neglect what we do.  There is a lot to be said for a well done service or an amazing looking youth room, as long as that does not become more important than why we serve in the first place.  Last time I checked, Jesus did not have the latest technology to make His presentation to the disciples relevant.  Instead, Jesus loved them and helped them to be His followers.

If we have a goal of growing the Kingdom, we need to value the people we are trying to grow the Kingdom with.  So, what, who do you value?

Derrick Whiteman