Value vs. Price

My father-in-law likes to buy items from rummage sales and auctions, fix them up, and resell them at his own garage sale. He’s quite good at spotting something that’s extremely underpriced and knowing he can resell it for significantly more. He’s also 88 years old and doesn’t use the Internet. Somehow, he just knows the value and the appropriate price.

My youngest son also likes to find used items at sales, online, or in a thrift store, look up their value online, and try to resell them on Facebook Marketplace or to friends or acquaintances. He’s had some success with this but not like his grandpa.

Turns out, knowing the value others place on an item does not accurately indicate the price someone will pay. If someone isn’t willing to pay a price, maybe they don’t understand the value. Or, maybe they just don’t agree with the value. In other words, just because someone places a value on something doesn’t mean someone else will pay that price for it. Check out eBay if you aren’t sure about this concept. It’s filled with items valued much higher than the prices people are willing to pay.

Value often goes unrecognized. In other words, we all want a deal and to pay less for something than what it’s worth. Sometimes, though, we recognized the value of something and decide to pay the asking price. And, sometimes, people value something much higher than what it’s worth or than the price anyone else will pay for it.

Hopefully, we don’t take this same approach with the people in our lives. It’s easy to do, though, isn’t it? We too often fail to show we value someone as much as we say we do. It’s easy to take people for granted.

Valuing Others

Maybe you fail to show someone how much you value them only occasionally, perhaps when you’re tired and worn out or just have too much going on in your life. Or, maybe, you’ve recognized a pattern where you just aren’t accurately showing how much you value someone, and you realize your actions aren’t meeting your intentions.

Too often, we let unmet expectations, complacency, fatigue, or busyness take away from our showing of value. There’s also a selfishness that comes into play; sometimes, we just don’t want to expend the energy. Or there’s pride involved, and we just can’t get past how uncomfortable it feels to show how much we value another.

We all value someone, but we aren’t always great at showing that value. It’s typically unintentional. We often don’t realize it until our attention gets directed there through an honest conversation, aha moment, or personal reflection. Unfortunately, that directing often takes place via argument or worse with the person we value.

Understanding Value

For me, understanding another person’s as well as my own value begins with God. If we start with him and understand each person’s value and how he backed that up with paying the highest price possible for it, perhaps we can better value ourselves and the ones we care about.

“For God so love the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not die but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31)

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

The path to a person’s value does not lie in the price we are willing to pay; it lies in the price that’s already been paid. If we keep this in mind in our every interaction, perhaps we’ll be better and showing value to the people in our lives.