What is Your Worth?
Did you know the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911? Before it was taken, it was not widely known outside the art world. Historian, James Zug, said it wasn’t “even the most famous painting in the gallery, let alone in the Louvre.” Yet, during the two years it was gone, more people went to stare at the blank space in the museum where it used to hang than had gone to look at the masterpiece in the previous 12 years it had hung there.
Obviously, it didn’t become valuable until people thought it was gone.
So, what determines your value?
What if I were to stand in front of a group of people and I pull a $20 bill out my purse and say, “I’ve got a $20 bill here and it’s yours if you want it. Who wants it?”
I imagine many people would raise their hands.
I rip the $20 bill and ask, “Who would take it now?”
I crumpled it and ask, “Who wants it now?”
I throw it to the ground and stomped on it and ask, “Who would take it now?”
I imagine each time, many people would still raise their hands.
I then say: “But why would you want this torn, crumpled, dirty piece of paper?
The answer: “Because it still is valuable.”
But why is it valuable? Is the paper of this bill worth twenty dollars? Is the ink on this bill worth that much money? No. Then why is this piece of paper worth $20? Because the government of the United States (which created it) says it’s worth $20. And that is the only reason this bill has any kind of value.
The same goes for each of us. No matter how much you’ve been torn up, crumpled or stomped on, you still have value, because the Creator who created you is the one who determines your value. The world is the big counterfeiter, who tries to tell you many other things determine your worth. Don’t be fooled. Only God does and he has gone to great lengths to show you how much you’re worth. You mean the world to him. He decided he couldn’t live without you, so he sent Jesus our way.
Being Human connection: We are all God’s masterpieces. A masterpiece is very valuable… and so are you! Your Creator has said so.
Featured art: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1503-39, Louvre, Paris
Here are some facts about this very famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci from the Louvre’s website:
- The history of the Mona Lisa is shrouded in mystery, however, it is thought to be the portrait of the wife of a Florentine cloth merchant Francesco del Giocondo. Her first name was Lisa.
- The portrait may have been painted to mark one of two events—either when Francesco and his wife bought their own house in 1503, or when their second son, Andrea, was born in December 1502 after the death of a daughter in 1499. The delicate dark veil that covers Mona Lisa’s hair is sometimes considered a mourning veil.
- The Mona Lisa is the earliest Italian portrait to focus so closely on the sitter in a half-length portrait.
- Her famous smile is thought to be a visual representation of the idea of happiness suggested by the word gioconda in Italian. Leonardo made this notion of happiness the central motif of the portrait: it is this notion which makes the work such an ideal.