The Things We Value

In 2004, a painting by Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses, was brought to the Antiques Roadshow for appraisal. Born before the Civil War, Robertson did not take up painting until late in her life. Her primitive style eventually became extremely popular, and her work commanded a high price. The man who brought the painting to be evaluated had lived nearby and his mother was a friend of Grandma Moses. He said, “She was just a wonderful friend of the family. And she would let my mother buy these paintings, which she thought had relatively little value. I guess my mother did, too. She probably bought eight or ten paintings in all, and my guess would be for perhaps under ten dollars each.”

The painting that was bought for around $10 was appraised as being worth $60,000! In her early days of painting, Grandma Moses did not think of her works as being very valuable, so she parted with them for next to nothing. How often do we give up that which is priceless for a little temporary pleasure or advantage? How often do we abandon that which matters most for that which matters least?

The best way to determine what matters the most to someone is not to hear what they say but to see what they do. The things we pursue and give our lives to are the things that we truly value the most. Fools do not seek wisdom because they do not place any value on it. Wise people will seek wisdom even at great expenses because they understand how important it is to successful living. When we value what God values we are on the path to wisdom.

“Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?”—Proverbs 17:16

Source: The Antiques Roadshow episode aired on February 28, 2005

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