Negotiations often center on and around value. As a seller, I want to reach an agreement on the extremely high, irreplaceable, value of the object at hand. As a buyer, I want the seller to think that even though I appear to be purchasing the object, in reality I find it of little value. We both know how important the value we discuss is to the final price! Rarely is either of us willing to say, honestly or transparently, how much real value we place in and on the object.
Our negotiations never stop with the process of buying and selling. We negotiate for power, freedom, the ability to do one thing or another, privileges, and even to avoid punishment. Buried in our equations are values. Values go well beyond objects. What we know as value includes the following; priorities, principles, relationships, choices, and even how we see our self.
At times, I love to barter. The dance and excitement of negotiating, being willing to walk away from something I really want, and acquiring something of value is fun – especially when I think I have won. Silk carpets in India, art found in out of the way corners of the world, and even special pieces of wood found in a place or way that nobody anticipated hold special places in my memories! The price really didn’t matter in the end. It was the process, the game, and in the end the joy of bringing home something of great value.
Far too often, it feels like we are negotiating with Divinity with our souls as the bargaining chip. In the process, I find I apply my experience in negotiating. The question of my soul’s worth is real. Unusually, God has and is transparently honest in the negotiation. “That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” (Isaiah 43.4)
Today is a day to remember how much I am worth. You are equally priceless! We are God’s beloved.
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