By John Ashley
I was employed as a pipefitter for over 29 years. I worked for a variety of companies; some union, some non-union. The pay scale was different at each place that I worked. In the union companies that I worked for everyone in my trade was paid the same amount of money. In the non-union positions everyone was paid at different rates based on experience and years in the company and such. I always told the people who I worked with that we each have a “perceived value.” Meaning, that each employer was willing to invest a pay and benefits package in their employees at a value that they placed on each person. As I worked for each company I continued to try to find employment with the company that had a higher “perceived value” of the pipefitters they employed.
There are many times in life when we allow our worth to be determined by someone else. We only see our value through the eyes of another flawed person. This can have a very negative effect on how we perceive our own value. Our parents, our co-workers, our friends and class mates have an opinion of our value in their lives. Some will like us and others will not. If we only value ourselves by one group or the other; we will either value ourselves too high or too low.
Being the parent of a child that had special needs I know many people placed a low value on our son. After all, he really couldn’t contribute to society in the same way most people can. He never paid into Social Security, but was a recipient. He never held a job, got married or had children. However, his contribution to the world around him was tremendous. He struggled many times with his inability to do many of the things he desired to participate in and he never really knew the impact that he had on so many people through his lifetime. Those that knew him, saw great value in his life, those that didn’t get to know him couldn’t see the real value that he was.
Yet, Johnny knew he was of great value in the eyes of God. He was one of God’s precious gifts to the world and he understood the love that God had for him. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:22-23 “ Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” God values people with eyes of only love. He sees each person as something of great value. His love for all mankind is beyond our comprehension. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
People may judge us and place a “perceived value” on our life and our contribution to society, but we should never let another person or even ourselves devalue us. We need to see our value through the loving eyes of God! See how valuable you are today to the one that created you just the way you are and loves you exactly how he made you. After all there is only one you. That alone make you of great value!!
Johnny’s story and how he impacted his world is contained in the book “Finding Grace and Peace IN SPITE OF Trials and Tragedy” and is available on Amazon.com just click on the link below. To find out more about the ministry of John Ashley go to the ministry website livinginspiteof.com.