It didn’t move as we drove by. It just lied there, dead on the side of the Colorado interstate. After all, it was just a coyote. Nobody probably cares that this individual coyote lived or died. The pack of this coyote most likely went on with their lives not even knowing what happened to this nameless animal.
Over six years ago we had to make the painful decision to put down our dog Randi. She belonged to me for not quite three years, but my wife owned Randi for over 13 years. Even though we replaced her with our current dog, Montana, my wife still mourns the loss of Randi.
So what made Randi more significant than this coyote? After all, they were both just canines. The site of a dead coyote does not emotionally pull most people. We see it as “road kill”. But for many, the site of a dog on the side of the road touches us in someway. So why is there a difference between these canines?
Dogs gain a greater value because of the importance placed on them by someone of greater significance. People have a greater significance than the dogs that are loved by them. When we call them our pets, we give them a greater value than just being a mere canine. No one gives an individual coyote that value. Sure, coyotes have a collective value to the natural environment and the functioning of an ecosystem, but the individual coyote does not have the same value of a person’s pet. People care for and often love individual dogs and because of our own significance those dogs gain a greater value.
The same can be said of us. Our value comes from someone of greater worth than ourselves. Our value comes from God. He gives us great value because he made us in His image and He loves and cares for us. The fact that God created us in His image gives every human being—born or unborn—an extreme value: a greater value than any coyote, dog or any other animal.
Remember God placed a valuable price on you! He values you so much so that He sent His son to die for you and for all people. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (NASB)” Everyone around us has value to God! It should dramatically affect our life when we remember that God places great worth on us and on those around us. It will affect how we think of ourselves, how we think of others and how we treat others. Remember, you and I and everyone around us have great value because a God of infinite value places that value on us. Let’s live our lives accordingly.