What is the value of a life?

A small dark-skinned hand reaching through a wooden fence, holding the white-skinned hand of someone older. 
Image by David Greenwood-Haigh from Pixabay

Back in the 1970s, the Ford Pinto was mass-produced knowing full well that it could/would catch on fire if rear-ended. Ford did a cost analysis and determined that an $11.00/vehicle repair would be more expensive than potential lawsuits from burn victims and their families (See The Pinto Memo). They underestimated the number of victims.

I’ve been watching and reading all of the updates on the missionaries abducted in Haiti. Their kidnappers are asking $1M per person, so $17M total for the release of the group which includes children. It’s been reported there is a 10-month-old baby and a two-year-old toddler in the group. Our hearts go out for them because they’re “our” people. To the Haitians, they’re “foreigners.”

One of the Haitian citizens interviewed asked, why so much attention was being given to these 17 people? Kidnappings happen every day there and the world doesn’t notice. He said it’s because the world sees their lives as less valuable than these foreigners.

So how much is a life worth nowadays?
A carload of people in the 1970s = $11.00
Americans/Canadians today = $1M each
Haitians = ?
Other poor nations = ?
Rich nations = ?
How can we, as mere humans, give a monetary value to a person’s life? What about other types of value?

God values each life He creates. We’re to love our neighbors (i.e. everyone) as we love ourselves. Jesus commands it. He didn’t say to only love those who are just like you. Love the Lord our God with all our hearts. Secondly, love one another. These are our commandments.
If you’ve been joining me in prayer every hour at ten till the hour for the kidnapped missionaries in Haiti, please add all of the kidnapped victims to your prayer. I can just imagine God doing miraculous things with these petitions. Pray as if one of your family members is a victim as if one of their lives depends on it. (Matthew 22:36-40)

strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
Acts 14:22 ESV

Please join me in praying every hour at ten till the hour for the victims of kidnapping. Pray for the speedy and safe release of the 17 missionaries in Haiti. Pray for the speedy and safe release of all kidnapped victims in Haiti. Pray for an end to these kidnappings, an end to the gang takeovers and violence in that country. Pray that the citizens of Haiti no longer need to live in constant fear. Pray for all kidnapped victims globally. Those who are imprisoned and those who have been released but still suffer from the experience. Pray for God to give wisdom to those in charge. Pray for peace.