Have you ever met someone who gave you a quick look-over to determine how much you’re worth? You could see in the way they looked at you that they were counting the monetary value of what you wore, etc. to determine your value to them. Then there are those who check the monetary value of work and workers that is assigned by society. This tells them who is worthy of their time and who isn’t. When they ask you what you do it’s really to figure out whether or not they will spend time with you. Sad, isn’t it?
Each person, including you, is worth so much more than their wages. The “value of work” varies from place to place and time to time. It is assigned by those who have the power to do so. Unfortunately, it does not reflect intrinsic human worth. Many times, it does not even reflect the true value of work done. Too often, those with little say are exploited by those who have the voice and the means to keep others down. This is not the spirit of Jesus Christ.
The value of work and love
It’s labor day. A great time to reflect on the value of work and workers. Let’s start by valuing each person as a beloved creation of God. Next, let’s value the work that they do as an extension of who they are and therefore of great worth. Know that God does not use the currency and the wages of the time as a measure of people and neither should you. Remember that you are called to love others regardless of what each person does. Love values. Love protects. Love treats the other fairly.
Celebrate the work that each person does, regardless of whether or not society gives it its worth. Celebrate the people who work, regardless of the type of work that they do. Then, be sure to let each person that you encounter, each person who does a job for you know that you see them as a fellow human being. Let them know that you value them and you value what they do. There are three easy ways to do this:
- Say, “thank you.”
- Pay what is fair.
- Support them in their quest for recognition, dignity, and fair wages.
Do this with your youth and teach them the value of work and workers in love to God and neighbor.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17)!
Living fully. Living faithfully. Following Christ.
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