My wife worked at Kmart through high school. Her job was to use a price tag gun to slap price tags on all the products. She tells me she can still hear the sound the gun made: Ca-chunk, Ca-chunk, Ca-chunk.
Although we can’t hear the sound, we all possess a price tag gun. We carry it around, not in our hands, but in our hearts. And we don’t slap prices on products but on people. We value people based on their culture, race, values, education, talents, or income.
By nature, we believe our culture, our values, our church, our way of life is the standard of what is good. And we evaluate others based on those standards.
I didn’t realize I did this until I started to travel. The first time I left the country was in high school. We took a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. For the first time in my life, I was in the minority, surrounded by people who looked different, talked different, and acted different.
I came to see that my previous standards of what was good were filled with prejudices and biases.
I came to see that I valued human beings based on my own personal preferences.
I came to see that I had been slapping a faulty price tag on anyone who was different than me.
Ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk
You probably don’t need to travel to the other side of the world to be confronted by your own prejudices and biases. Just go to the other side of town. Surround yourself with people who look different, talk different, and act different; and your own price tag gun will be exposed. You’ll start to hear its sound as you place different value on different people.
Ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk
Intuitively, we know this kind of thinking is evil and even dangerous. But what are we supposed to do about it? How does God want us to live?
1. Love who God loves.
The Bible says, “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9). The Lord made each human being in his image, and he loves each one. In fact, Jesus proved the worth of every person by purchasing him or her with his own blood.
Because God loves every person that he has made (that includes you, by the way), he is calling us to love others as well. That means we love the good, the bad, and the ugly, without exception.
2. Love how God loves.
Yet, when God loves people, he doesn’t overlook their evil. He wants everyone to repent and change. When God sent Jonah to preach to the wicked Ninevites, he didn’t say, “Jonah, go tell them, ‘Everything is okay. I love you anyway.’” No, God loved the wicked Ninevites so much he told Jonah to call them to repentance and to leave their violent ways.
That’s the same for us. God wants us to love and accept everyone as a precious human being. But that doesn’t mean we should affirm every wrong path. We are to love people like we love ourselves. We love ourselves, even though there are parts of us that need to change radically by God’s grace.
Human rights and values are a hot topic in today’s culture. We’re beginning to recognize that devaluing any human being for any reason is wrong and downright wicked. But only our Savior can show us the way forward. He shows us how we can love and accept all people, yet at the same time call them to a new life in Christ.
As Christians, let’s lead our culture toward a better future by loving all those God has made.
Pastor Ben Sadler has served as a full-time pastor since 2010. He began his ministry at a Spanish-speaking congregation in Florida. From 2014 to 2019, he served at Goodview Trinity Church in Minnesota. Currently, he is at Victory of the Lamb in Wisconsin. He is married to Emily, and they have three children. Ben loves to spend time with his family, ride his road bike, read, write, and preach.
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