Getting the Advantage?
The traveling salesman is an example of someone who is trying to get an advantage. He is seeking to take advantage of your desires so that he may ply his merchandise. Sadly, we often look at our relationships in this way; “he is someone over whom I can gain an advantage.” Now, before you say, “I don’t do that,” think for a minute. If you’ve ever said, this or that person can help me, then you’ve done it. That’s not to discount that people can be helpful, nor that it is good to be helpful. However, we’re not supposed to look primarily at people from this perspective. People are valuable in and of themselves regardless of whether they can help us.
There are at least two things wrong with looking at people from the standpoint of advantage. First, we see people for their usefulness instead of their value. Second, we see people as being useful to us, in particular. These perspectives distort the value of people. The first perspective distorts their value by deeming others only as good as their usefulness. This is the great sin of our modern and pragmatic age. A person’s worth is equated to his utility. The second perspective says, “You are only worth usefulness to me.” Self becomes the standard for a person’s value. One will cease valuing another when he ceases to be useful to him.This is not loving one’s neighbor (Matthew 22:39).
Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). One soul is worth more than the whole world. Will we value people the way Jesus did? God bless you and I love you.