True Appreciation

A MODERN dictionary defines the word "appreciation" in its most comman usage as "true or adequate apprehension or estimation, as of qualities, merit, or value; sympathetic recognition of excellence." The import of the definitions of the correlative words relates especially to the proper valuation of thoughts, character, and actions; and the same dictionary illustrates the true sense of appreciation by the following citation: "The exquisite beauty of even the humblest blossom can only be appreciated by the eyes which gaze on it with tenderness and affection." How true indeed this is!

We can, therefore, conclude that true appreciation is a proper valuation of character, conditions, and actions through eyes enlightened with desire to discover and prize the beautiful, the good, and whatever is true, both in substance and in symbol. Christ Jesus always had and utilized a true appreciation of those around him, for he saw their true spiritual selfhood as the reflection of God, always perfect; and thus valued them. He once said "to an innumerable multitude of people," after warning them to be awake to the supposititious processes and intentions of evil, "Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

The chief priests of the Master's time, those who, through tradition and personal proclamation, regarded themselves as the best of the children of God, having no true sense of appreciation, no recognition through the eyes of "tenderness and affection," valued Jesus at thirty pieces of silver! That was all their cramped and limited vision could value him at; and they found one of his circle who agreed with them. Losing all true appreciation, Judas sold his Master, betrayed him, for a few "pieces of silver"! Judas' appreciation, his valuation or price money, after all the dear Lord had done for him, soon burned in his hands! Even before the crucifixion of Jesus, the price of Judas' treachery was cast at the feet of the chief priests and elders; and, after counsel, they bought with the blood money a "potter's field, to bury strangers in." For, as Matthew narrates, "They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field." Could anything have better illustrated an utter blindness of appreciation than the valuation and sale of the best man who ever lived on earth for thirty bits of second-rate metal?

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"Receive thy sight"
March 1, 1930

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