The worth of a person

Some of you might believe that I am being deliberately provocative with the title of this post and perhaps I am but this is a thought that has haunted me since visiting the projects of an organisation that rescues children out of brothels in South East Asia where they are being exploited sexually. To the brothel owners these children have a monetary worth every time they are sold to another person for sex. And the same can be said for any person who is trapped in slavery, their “owner” gives the slave a worth based on how much the slave can do or get them. But is this their true worth?

And what about the people who own the slaves? Some of us (hopefully the vast majority of us) would be horrified at the thought of owning someone. We would argue for the slave’s rights and by this argument give them inherent worth of a non-monetary kind. But where does this thought that people have inherent worth come from?

For me it comes from Genesis 9:6 which indicates that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity because they are made in the image of God. But here is where we come to the kicker…this verse includes ALL humankind the slave owner and the slave, the person you consider to be good and/or right and the person that you think to be evil and/or wrong.

I pray that I can begin to see ALL people more in light of this verse, without overlooking that people can do evil things to other people and that there are many people who need to be rescued out of the bonds of slavery.


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