As you all know, I recently read The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. And if you read my recap of it, you also know that I couldn't put it down. But as I neared the end of the book, this sentence stopped me in my tracks.
"...for the Hurons were in no degree exempt from that governing principle of nature, which induces man to value his gifts precisely in the degree that they are appreciated by others."
From The Last of the Mohicans (chapter 27) page 290.
Let that sink in a minute.
What makes something valuable? Think about your life. Think about what you have. What is more valuable to you than anything else? Why is it that thing?
Oftentimes, we humans ascribe value to things simply based on whether the majority of people also value it.
Now I understand that my diamond engagement ring is worth more than a candy ring pop. I get that. But let's really think about this. A lot of statistics today show that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. Society has said that marriage is not valuable. That if you can't seem to get along with your spouse, or if marriage is making your life harder instead of easier, then you can just throw your marriage away and start over. And since the majority seem to agree with this mindset, we have people in marriages who don't value their spouse. Who are too busy looking around and thinking the grass is greener on the other side instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting down to the business of cultivating their own lawn. Who are having affairs, physical and emotional, thinking that since marriage isn't that important, they're not doing any damage.
Or think about this. Approximately 42 million abortions occur each year. Forty. Two. Million. Does that number not stagger you? That calculates out to over 100,000 abortions every single day. Society has said that human life is not valuable. That if a pregnancy comes at a bad time for you or if the baby growing inside of you might not be perfectly healthy, then you can just throw that life away and not feel guilty about it. And since the loudest voices are screaming that every woman has the right to choose whether or not they should be able to have a baby or throw it away, we have teenage girls who are making a decision they can never take back. Who are damaging their body and their psyche without realizing the consequences of such an act. We have women who are calloused, jaded, and crusading for a cause they don't believe in to assuage their guilty conscience.
Let's take it even further. We're seeing studies that show millennials are walking away from the church in droves. Society has said that the Bible is not valuable. That if you believe the universe happened as a result of chance, or if same-sex marriage is not a sin, then you can just throw away what the Bible has to say to these issues and do whatever you want. And since the most popular opinions seem to be that evolution is scientifically sound and same-sex marriage is not offensive and gender-reassignment is perfectly acceptable and life before birth actually isn't life at all, we have a world full of people who think that they can still claim the name of Christ while living in direct opposition to His Word. Who have taken prayer out of schools and public places and government. Who are persecuting anyone who does take a stand for Biblical truth.
I could go on and on. Don't even get me started on being discontent with the size of your TV, or your house, or your yard. Comparison is a dangerous game, and using a standard set by sinful people to measure your own blessings or determine the state of your personal contentment is a road you don't need to go down.
Let's be people who think for ourselves. Who value marriage and life and God's Word. Who treasure and protect these most precious of gifts instead of mindlessly following the herd mentality we so often encounter. Let's be people who stand up--even if it means standing alone--for truth.
What do you value?