The value of a dollar

Look at this crumpled piece of paper. It’s money.

Well, actually, it is money, but it isn’t paper. U.S. currency is made of cloth that is 3/4 cotton and 1/4 linen. That’s why it doesn’t fall apart when you accidentally leave it in your pocket and wash it in the washing machine.

Do you know how much this bill is worth? It has lots of 1’s on it. And printed on the bottom are the words … in all caps, so they must be true … ONE DOLLAR.

Yep. It’s worth one dollar.

If that crumpled bill is worth a dollar then how much is this flat, crisp, clean bill worth?

It’s worth one dollar. We don’t get to decide that one has more value than the other. They are both one dollar.

This coin looks kind of like a quarter, but it has a picture of Susan B. Anthony on the front. It’s made out of copper and nickel metals, and it has a nifty 11-sided design around the edge.

And on the back it says ONE DOLLAR.

This coin has a smooth edge and is sort of a gold color. It has a picture of Sacagawea with a baby on the front. It’s made out of copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel metals.

And on the back, it says ONE DOLLAR.

These four things don’t look the same. They are not the same age. They are not the same shape. They are not the same color. But they all have the same worth.

We don’t get to decide that one is worth more or less than the other. The one who made them is the one who set their value.

God created you and me and everyone else, and God decides how much we are worth. God says that we are very good– even if we don’t look the same, even if we are different shapes or colors. Not a single one of us is better than the rest.

I know, I know, you don’t need to point out that this is not a perfect analogy. Coin collectors would pay more for a rare coin in mint condition and bills are taken out of circulation if they are damaged. Don’t overthink it.

Just remember that our Creator decided that every one of us has the same value, and we are very good. We are all worthy of the same love, respect, and justice.

So on those days when you’re beating yourself up about your imperfect image in the mirror, remember God thinks you are good! And if you are tempted to look down on others, remember that in the eyes of God, they are valuable, too.

All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

Plato

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