Frank, and Mike — you know who I mean, and if you are like me, you watch them often. American Pickers is one of our favorite TV shows, and these three people are the reason.
Their personalities are fun, but it is their wisdom and knowledge of all things old that causes us to tune in. No, there’s more to it than that, they teach us how to re-value things that have lost their original value.
It is hard for me to see some of the things they pick through as anything more than junk. I’m amazed when they find a rusty (and to me, worthless) piece of something, and immediately know what it was decades ago when all the parts were intact. Not only that, but they bond with the seller because they share a passion for whatever it was they’ve found.
I was thinking about this as I recalled a story my Gramps told me back in 1978. When my Granny passed away there was a garage sale to sell some of her things before my Gramps went to live with mom and dad.
One thing for sale was a brand new gallon of bleach Granny had bought just before she passed. To sell it quickly mom and dad put a greatly discounted price on it. When Gramps told me about it, he cried. He couldn’t believe they’d practically given away something Granny had selected, paid for, carried home, and never used.
Recalling this story made me think of Frank and Mike. Sometimes they can’t offer enough money to a “collector” to get him or her to part with the item, even though to everyone else, it is a piece of junk. Why?
I think it is because we attach great worth and value to things because of a memory, or a person, that the item reminds us of. If we discount the item, we feel like we are devaluing the memory or the person.
A gallon of bleach. My grandfather cried over a gallon of bleach. I’m crying thinking about it. However, that gallon of bleach truly was nothing more than just that. It was not my grandmother, nor really did it represent her. Yet, my Gramps would have preferred to hold on to it… or at least sell it for what he deemed it was worth — a couple hundred bucks more!
As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!
There are times, when I’m watching Frank and Mike, that I am more interested in the people from whom they are picking, than I am with what they are picking. Some of these people are hurting so deeply because they’ve lost a parent, a sibling, a relative, or a friend. Because it seems impossible to define the value of a person, they simply transfer value to the items.
We do that so often — we attach things like a job title, a degree, an accomplishment, a relationship, or something else we think is valuable to a person and then we use that to try to establish their worth in our own estimation.
Unfortunately, all those things can be lost or removed, and then what? Do we devalue a person because they don’t fit our model of what a worthwhile person is, or looks like, or has? Heaven forbid. But, seriously, do we? Are there people whom you’ve written off as worthless? Have I?
We may even see ourselves as a rusty cast off because we’re missing parts and we’ve seen our best days. We may feel useless and purposeless. But God sees us as Frank and Mike see things: in their full glory, in their full potential, and in their utmost value.
When we come to Christ in saving faith, God perfects us, even while he is making us perfect. For by that one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy (Hebrews 10:14).
God sees us completely beautiful, whole, and perfectly fitted for his good purpose. We lack nothing! He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm because we belong to Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3).
We have been more than restored, we have been made new! Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Not only that, our worth has been established for all eternity. God purchased us out of the bondage of sin; out of the destructive and deceptive power that owned us! And it was not a cheap purchase! The currency which he used, the only currency with sufficient value was the blood of Jesus. For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18-19).
We cannot lose the traits that make us valuable in God’s eyes, because we had none to begin with. He loved us when we were unlovely. He saved us when we were lost. He redeemed us when there was nothing redeemable. We have value because of his love for us, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). Our value is established in that we belong to God.
Will you strive to see yourself as God sees you, redeemed, renewed and reconciled: a person of great worth, a person who belongs to God.
(All Scripture references are NLT)
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