“The ‘Labor Theory of Value,’ (LTV) which is the amount of work that you put into something dictates the value of the thing, is a bunch of crap. If I spend all day outside making mud pies, that’s an awful amount of work… It’s also completely useless.” – Ben Shapiro, speaking at a Q & A, published on January 18, 2019 on YouTube
This quote hit me like a tone of bricks. Ben Shapiro was being questioned by a freshman college student who was defending a socialistic worldview. In doing so, it triggered Shapiro into making the above point regarding a concept which promotes the notion that the cost of producing something dictates the value of the thing produced (LTV). Ben wisely gave an illustration regarding the amount of time needed for making worthless mud pies, in order to show that this theory is nonsense. The reason that this quote hit me so hard is because it made me think about how I can sometimes justify my being dedicated to a useless pursuit (especially if said pursuit eats up a lot of my time). In other words, I can easily convince myself that the amount of time and effort that I spend on something, somehow contributes to its value. In embracing such a concept, I then gain the excuse needed to justify (in my own mind) that the pursuit is worth it, even though I already know deep down inside that it is actually a complete waste of time.
So, what does the Bible say about this?
Paul encouraged the Ephesians to be mindful of the proper use of their time, because the days are evil…
Ephesians 5:15-17 (HCSB)
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
So, how do we not be foolish and know what the Lord’s will is?
Go to scripture…
Here’s an example from the Psalms as to how we can internally deal with the temptation to waste our time, keeping in perspective that we will be judged regarding how we approach our limited opportunities to do the works of real value…
Psalms 62:5-7 & 9-12 (HCSB)
Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will not be shaken.
My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.
My refuge is in God…
…Men are only a vapor;
exalted men, an illusion.
Weighed in the scales, they go up;
together they are less than a vapor.
Place no trust in oppression,
or false hope in robbery.
If wealth increases,
pay no attention to it.
God has spoken once;
I have heard this twice:
strength belongs to God,
and faithful love belongs to You, Lord.
For You repay each according to his works.
Godspeed to the brethren!