Our worth does NOT come from our work


Think about the human body. On one hand we are designed quite intricately. On the other hand we are quite delicate and cheap.

I read the following:

While working on a reprint project of the Mayo brothers and other prominent early physicians at Mayo Clinic, we came across an interesting, if not whimsical, interview of Dr. Charles H. Mayo that appeared in the Northwestern Health Journal (Dec. 1924, 9:9-10).  Dr. Charlie had only recently been elected president of the American Medical Association at the time of the interview; and the article was titled, “Our Bodies’ Worth Only 84 Cents – Dr. Mayo.”  After browsing through this light-hearted piece, it begged the question — what is the human body worth today?

The interview format provided an opportunity to “experience” the voice of Dr. Charlie and to enjoy some of his humor.  In those 84 cents he said “there is enough sulfur to keep the fleas off a dog and enough iron for an eight-penny nail.”  His good-natured personality glowed throughout.  One of his “pet” topics was what people eat.  He compared what people eat to the value of the human body.  He stated that the food we consumed on a daily basis was worth much more than our entire body.  Over the decades the question of what is a body worth has recurred.  An authoritative source for the chemical composition of the body dates back to the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, now part of the United States Department of Agriculture.  Theirs was a highly scientific approach to the chemical composition of the human body.

Oxygen  65%
Carbon  18%
Hydrogen  10%
Nitrogen  3%
Calcium  1.5%
Phosphorous   1%
Potassium  0.35%
Sulfur  0.25%
Sodium  0.15%
Chlorine  0.15%
Magnesium  0.05%
Iron   0.0004%
Iodine   0.00004%

Surprisingly the actual values of the chemicals have varied little over time depending on the market value of the elements.  A Google search illustrates much evidence of renewed interest in this medical parlor game.  Contemporary entries go beyond the individual “elements” and focus on “other” global markets; e.g., bone marrow, ($23 million) and DNA ($9.7 million).

The current monetary worth placed of the basic “elements” in an individual human body is $4.50:  $3.50 for the skin and the remainder of the worth assigned in the aggregate to the major elements — $1.00.  Almost 100 years have passed and the difference is only 16 cents from Dr. Charlie’s long ago calculation!  We can’t say that we have increased in value markedly, but at least we aren’t worth any less.  For most of us the value of the human body is priceless; but we do well to remember a quote attributed to Thomas Edison, “From his neck down a man is worth a couple of dollars a day, from his neck up he is worth anything that his brain can produce.”

Dottie Hawthorne
Outreach Librarian, Mayo Clinic Libraries[1]

We don’t need a lot of money; however, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

But what about our own self-worth? What gives us value?

The world may tell us we have worth based off of education, we have worth based off of looks, we have worth based off of our job, we have worth based off of our number of friends, we have worth based off of the number of likes we receive on a social media post, we have worth based off of our family, we have worth based off of our house, we have worth based off of our technology, we have worth based off of our car, we have worth based off of our body, we have worth based off of our talent, or you fill in the blank.

NO, NO, NO, YOU HAVE WORTH BECAUSE GOD CREATED YOU. No one has a right to mess with your worth because they did not create you.

I am in a new sermon series in which I will contrast the lies we believe about ourselves verses the Biblical Truths about ourselves.

Today we are going to talk specifically about your work and your worth.

My Theme: Your worth does NOT come from your work. Your worth comes from your creator. Work is merely a significant part of our life. It is not your life.

Turn to Genesis 1:26-27:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

  1. God did not create you only to work, so don’t let work determine your value.
    1. God created you, He gives you value, not your occupation.
    2. I understand, many of you have worked for 70 or more years and now you are retired, what do you do. We can talk about what to do with your time, but what is clear is that you are still priceless. God created you and that is where your worth comes from.
    3. If I create a book shelf, it has value to me because I built it. It is not for someone else to mess it up, I built it. It is mine. You are God’s, He created you.
    4. Why did God create you?
  2. God created us for His glory.
    1. Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 1:11-12
    2. Isaiah 43:7: everyone who is called by my name,
      whom I created for my glory,
      whom I formed and made.”
    3. Ephesians 1:11-12: In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
    4. You know that you give God glory by existing and fulfilling your purpose. As you live your purpose changes. Think of the purpose of a baby, versus a toddler, verses a teenager, verses a young adults, middle aged adult. Your value comes from God. He gives you value.
  • God loves you and delights in you and is perfectly happy with you delighting in Him and enjoying life.
    1. Ephesians 1:3: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 
    2. Ephesians 1:7-10: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
    3. John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
    4. Psalm 16:11: You make known to me the path of life;
      you will fill me with joy in your presence,
      with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
    5. Psalm 37:4: Take delight in the Lord,
      and he will give you the desires of your heart.

      1. God wants us to have fun.
      2. Fun is a good things.
  • God wants us to laugh regardless of our age.
  1. God does not want us to be bogged down with oppressive thinking of our value. Don’t get me wrong, these depressing thoughts come. It is normal to have short period of negative thinking.
  2. However, if you are dealing with continual oppressive thinking, reach out. I would love to talk with you and see if I can help. Many time just talking with someone can help. I would also love to refer you to a professional counselor.
    1. Many times we don’t need a professional counselor, though there is nothing wrong with seeing someone.
    2. We can get help talking with a friend.
    3. Write out your thoughts, journal.
    4. Look at the Bible passages that talk about your value and just think them through, journal as you look at them. Write out your thinking to God.
    5. There are other Scriptures to look at such as Psalm 139.
    6. Remember Philippians 4:6-9, think about your thinking. Thinking on good things.
    7. God created you! Think of all the amazing, positive, awesome, joyful, ramifications of being created in the image of God.


A car that won’t drive has no purpose. It was created to drive.

A person that cannot work still has purpose. We were created for much more than work. If God needed us to work then we would receive our value based off of how good we performed in doing a certain task. We do; however, receive value in work. Work is a good thing. But notice that God created everything without us. God desires to use you, but don’t feel burdened as He does not need you. What I am about to share I share not to make you feel bad but to make you feel God. God created us not because He needs us, but to bring glory to Him.

  • God created time without us (Genesis 1:1).
  • He created space without us (Genesis 1:1).
  • He created matter without us (Genesis 1:1).
  • God created light with out us (Genesis 1:3).
  • God created dry land and water without us (Genesis 1:9-10; day 3)
  • God created vegetation without us (Genesis 1:11-13; day 3).
  • God created the sun, moon, stars, seasons without us (Genesis 1:14-19; day 4).
  • God created the fish and all the sea creatures as well as the bird without us (Genesis 1:20-23; day 5).
  • God created the animal life without us (Genesis 1:24-25; day 6).
  • God created humans without us (Genesis 1:26-27; day 6).

But God chooses to use us. God loves us regardless of what our capabilities are. God loves us regardless of what we are willing to do.

God created you and He loves you.

Luke 9:23

Let’s pray.

  • God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
  • Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
  • Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
  • Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
  • Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
  • Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

[1] https://liblog.mayo.edu/2010/01/14/whats-the-body-worth/

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