An object only obtains the worth that someone is willing to place on it weather the value be sentimental, practical, or monetary.
People, however, do not obtain worth in this manner. Now, we have all heard someone talk about the net worth of Bill Gates, but they are referring to his bank accounts and not his person. So how does a person obtain value?
There is a degree of value that is placed on a person through relationships between family members and friends. Employees are worth something to employers. However, with humans we cannot look at human value as we do objects. The value of a person does not come from their productivity in society, their ability to love or how much they are loved, or any such performance based value system. Humans are not valuable simply because other humans value them. If a human needed another person to give them value then the lone homeless person on the street would have less value than the person ensconced in relationships that value the person. Each person regardless of their abilities, capabilities, handicaps, friendships, performance, etc. has intrinsic value. No matter if no human on this planet loves that person or cares about that person or gains anything from that person that person is priceless.
Human worth doesn’t come from the value the rest of humanity places on the life. It comes straight from the Creator of that life. If no one else on the planet knows that person and values that person, God still has given that person value. He is the one that breathed from His life into the human life and gave life and He said it is good. He said man is fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter the handicap, no matter the age, mental capacity, or physical capacity or how many humans love a person, each person is uniquely special and valuable because God created him/her.
Moreover, because we are made in his likeness we know human life is valuable. That is why we know slave trafficking is absolutely wrong and murder and abuse and injustice is wrong. We have been stamped with knowledge of the intrinsic value of humanity. That is why when we do things that devalue humanity we feel the guilt, we feel the injustice. The famous scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth when Lady MacBeth is washing her visibly clean hands of blood over and over as the guilt suffocates her is so telling of our knowledge of the value of human life.
Here's the smell of the blood still: all the
hand. Oh, oh, oh!
Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets:
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! Look after her;
Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
Lady Macbeth was overwrought with guilt from her murderous deed. Soap and water would not remove the memory as she slipped into near insanity. The doctor watching her condition adequately assessed her need for relief that can only come from divine forgiveness for her deed was not one only against humanity, but against the author of life. And it was He and He alone who could remove from her the guilt of her transgression.
As a Christian I bear the responsibility of loving people like God loves them even though I cannot do it as perfectly as God does. God calls me to love those who are in Christ and everyone else and even my enemies. He says that not a sparrow falls from the sky without Him noticing. He says that He knows how many hairs are upon our heads. He sees every tear and every laugh. He asks us to live a life of love, not of our own strength, but empowered by Christ. We are all created equal and we are all precious in His sight.