Friday, July 11, 2008

What’s your life worth?

Did you know that the government agencies of the United States of America evaluate the value of a human life and use these bureaucratic calculations in determining laws and regulations?

On the front page of today’s Wichita Eagle an article appears with the headline What's your life worth? A lot less to EPA.

According to the report, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other agencies, use various criteria to calculate a so called value of a statistical life.

What exactly is a statistical life?

Well, YOUR life is a statistical life. Every human being has a life, and that life is treated as a numerical datum. This is the view that results from loving money and making mammon one’s god.

The Scriptures explain this very plainly.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11)

The Lord Jesus declared:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
(Matthew 6:21-25)

When money becomes the basis for deciding what is right and wrong, when cost is the factor by which decisions of life and death are determined, mercy disintegrates. The love of money turns all decisions away from mercy and away from compassion and away from caring and away from goodness. The love of money turns all decisions to selfishness and to the maintenance and preservation of one’s own money and possessions and power.

This is why St. Paul admonishes:

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)

This way of looking upon others does not develop in a person on its own. It is not even possible to have this mindset by one’s own choice. No, as St. Paul declares, this is the mind of Christ, which is made to be the mind of those who are in Christ.

Thus we will observe certain imitations of this in the world, such as the facade of caring that is presented by the Environmental Protection Agency. But we will never see in the activities of the world and of the world’s agents the real caring that is not limited by monetary considerations. This real caring, this limitless caring, comes from God, who is love.

This is why the larger headline on the same page is: Casinos make pitch to state.

It is about the money!

A person who counts the things of others as just as important and even more important than one’s own things does not seek to use people’s greediness against them. That is, after all, the basis for gambling. Those who gamble and promote gambling are hoping to profit from the greediness and gullibility of others. People do not gamble with the good of others in mind.

The Casino owners want to make profit from others, regardless of how others are injured. The government wants to make profit from the profits of the casinos so that more money can be squandered on various programs that have the false appearance of caring for the people. People want to get something for nothing, knowing full well that someone has to lose heavily in order for this gain for self to occur.

In other words, the lives of others are counted as of less value than the personal or communal or corporate monetary gains.

So what is your life really worth?

To God, it is worth everything. To God, your life is worth His own life. To God, your life is worth the cost of humbling Himself to take on the form of Man, even more, to take the sin of the world and to be made to be sin in the place of Man, to be falsely condemned, to be persecuted and betrayed, and to be tortured to death. This is the mind of Christ, the God who is also Man, the Creator who loves the world so much that He is willing to humble Himself to take into Himself and to continue with the form of the creature for the sake of the creature.

Such value of life is found only in the heart and mind of Christ and of those who through Baptism are made to be one with Christ.

What is your life worth? Do you really know?

If you really know the worth of your life, then will it not show in the way that you value the lives of others? Is it possible to know the mind of Christ and not to have that mind toward others?

What is your life really worth? Do you know? Do you know what value God places upon you? Do you know what power God has for you and how He desires for you to be made to be like Him? Do you know that He has reserved a place for you in His kingdom, to be a coheir with Christ, to inherit all that is of God? Do you know that in Baptism God places His own name upon you and bestows all that is His along with His holy name?

Knowing one’s value changes a person.

Do you really know the value that has been declared concerning your life?

Click here to see your true value.

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