December 02, 2013

Undervalued

It's hard to put a price on my own work. On the one hand, I worry that people will think I'm charging too much. On the other hand, I want to charge enough that I make what I'm doing worth my time and effort.

A couple times a year, I decorate cakes for people. Starting out, I didn't know what to charge, but I finally settled on a price. Then the prices of flour and sugar both went up. Since my cakes are made from scratch, I had to raise my price too. I knew I had to make the change, but still I thought about it for a couple of months before actually quoting the new price. Even then I felt guilty about it.

I know I'm not the only one who has a hard time with this. I once considered opening an etsy shop, though I later realized I'm too slow to finish projects so there wouldn't be much point. While researching the possibility, I came across an etsy blog post about pricing, in which the author, Danielle, wrote, "From my years of listening to your stories, putting a price on your work is one of the most intimidating first steps to selling, and delays many from opening their shop."

I think we all tend to undervalue our work and our time, which is a shame. Unfortunately, many of all also underestimate our value to God, which is even worse. We think of His holiness and our faults, His majesty and our lowliness and we feel we can't be worth very much in His eyes. Even those of us who are believers don't really feel comfortable with the notion of ourselves as valuable to God, unless it's for the work we do for Him.

But He doesn't see us as worthless, or even as having only minimal value. Nor does He assess our value based on what we can do for Him. He says we are "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God" (1 Peter 2:9). Chosen, royal, holy, belonging to Him. These are the words He uses to describe His people. Collectively, yes, but also individually. This is how He sees each of us who believe in Jesus as our Savior.

Galatians 3:26 says, "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith" and 4:7 says, "So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."

Think about your children. What value do they have to you? Is it not so huge it could never be measured? Our children are priceless, worth far more than everything else in this world combined. 

That is how God sees us.

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1). He has lavished His love on us. What a word! There is nothing stingy or begrudging about lavish! My dictionary defines lavish as "give or spend in large or extravagant quantities." To lavish on someone is to give to them abundantly, freely and joyfully. How has He lavished His love on us? By giving us Jesus, who lived and died to be our Savior, that we who believe can be adopted into the family of God as sons and daughters.

As the children of God, we are valued so highly He sent Jesus to redeem each one of us. We should remember that the next time we are tempted to undervalue ourselves.

3 comments:

  1. That is the reason I stopped selling. I always sold my items for less than the time and effort I put into them. While I made a little profit, the time spent doing the work was lost to me. I was also losing the joy in being creative...just making things to sell. I value a bargain, so it's always hard to put a $$ on any item I make.

    In the same respect, I am learning that how others treat me does not have any bearing on the reality of God valuing me. I am so thankful that I am valuable to Him. Thanks for a lovely reminder this week. =)

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  2. Thanks for the reminder, it's so easy to see ourselves as unworthy, in any situation.

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  3. Yes, thank you for the reminder! I found this post on the "Faithful Bloggers" site and visited because I sew also. But this resonates most about my computer work. I always refer to my pricing as "nonprofit pricing" because I work with nonprofits, but truthfully I could value my work more, even if I price at a level nonprofits can afford. Glad to think about a spiritual perspective, thank you.

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