The Price is Right?

priceScientists at Duke University in 2008 rounded up a group of test subjects and gave them electric shocks. After the first round of zapping, they gave each of the test subjects one of two possible pills and then administered a second identical jolt. The human lab-rats were asked to compare the pain of the first and second shock.

85% of those in the first group said the pill reduced the pain. 61% of the second group said the same thing.

What makes this study interesting is that both groups received identical pills—and they weren’t pain relievers. They were simple sugar pills or placebos. The only difference between the first group and the second group? The first group was told that their pills cost $2.50. The second group was told that their pills cost $2.50, but they were discounted all the way down to a mere ten cents. Somehow, when the second group heard that their medicine was discounted, their brains interpreted it as “cheap” or “without value.”

It’s really amazing just how easy it is to confuse our little minds!

It’s easy to put the wrong value on the wrong things. Our culture values possessions more than people, form over function, and the future and past over the present. We evaluate what is better and worst. Without realizing it, we evaluate things on a standard that just isn’t right.

It’s important that Christians always keep this idea at the front of our minds: the values of the Kingdom of God are not the values of the world.

Jesus said that the whole world isn’t as valuable as a single soul (Mark 8:36). He said that the least among us would be the greatest (Luke 9:48). He said that meek would inherit the whole earth (Matthew 5:5). Let’s compare our values with his values—and adjust as needed!