1 Peter 1:17 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially live your lives here as strangers and aliens in reverent fear.”
Luke 12:33-34 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”
I was out in town today and I saw a Jaguar. Not the animal, but the car. I don’t really know anything about cars. But it was not one of the old Jaguars that look like they belong in an old James Bond movie. It was a modern, white model that looked like a race car. I’ve never seen very many Jaguars in person. I looked it up, and the average price of a Jaguar is $52,000 US. Just like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Rolls Royces etc, these are cars that I’ve mostly ever seen on TV or in movies or magazines.
So even though I don’t know anything about cars, I know enough to know that certain brands of cars are highly desirable and expensive. When I see them in person my reaction follows a very set and automatic pattern: 1) I realize “hey that’s a Jaguar” 2) I try to feast my eyes on it.
Why do I do that? Why do I sense a compulsion to examine a car thoroughly? Isn’t it just a car? It has four wheels, an engine, and the part inside where you sit and drive. I see thousands of these a day. So why do I have this automatic captivation? I believe it is because I want to be awed and marvel at something that I know to be marvelous. I have cognizance of the notoriety of the brand so when I see one I think, “Oh there’s one. Let’s see it. Let’s see what it looks like. They cost a lot of money. Let’s see what something looks like that is worth that much.”
I have almost an identical reaction when I become aware of a famous person in my presence. Someone says, “Hey, isn’t that ______?” And I quickly turn to see if it is, in fact, that celebrity. It’s because I am captivated by those that are reputed to be awesome. I think, “Oh, well let’s see what he looks like. He’s supposed to be great. Let’s see what someone looks like who is that great.”
I am not pleased with the fact that I’m like this. Today I consciously and purposefully looked away from the Jaguar because I realized I was doing something stupid. As a Christian, I’ve been freed from slavery to possessions. As a born again son of God through the finished work of Jesus, I have an inheritance after this life that far outshines and outlasts any of the shiniest, best, highest quality, most sought-after and expensive possessions in the universe. Nothing that I or anyone else could purchase or achieve can compare with the status and true wealth a believer in Jesus possesses. So a Christian has been removed from the world’s economy in a way. We have a different currency. I have a different scale on which I value things, people, and experiences. My score-card for rating what’s important in the world is different.
But in these moments when I am faced with a world-class automobile or have an opportunity to glimpse a great one, I act as if I still belonged to the world and was still enslaved to play its game. I behave as if I still play and want to rack up points on this earth’s scoreboard. I covet the possession of those who appear to be really making it here. I desire the status of those who appear to inspire respect and admiration from the masses.
I don’t want to do that. I am so glad that I am freed from the bondage of playing the world’s game of “look what I have, I bet you wish you had it.” We are citizens of the most high country, adopted into the most prestigious family. We play in a whole different league. We live in the most exalted realm. We perform for the greatest audience. We are cherished by the One whose love and affection matters more than all of the respect of the globe one billion times over.
So why do I still in momentary lapses choose to play the world’s game? It’s silly at best. You don’t see Lebron James going down to the local neighborhood court fussing about fouls. Why not? Because he competes at the highest level. He is in the world’s most premier league of basketball. Why would he worry himself with little pick up games with no one watching? So why would I figuratively do the same thing as a Christian? Why would I covet a car, when I have entitled to me eternal, spotless, blameless, perfect righteousness that will gain for me a paradise in a mansion that will last forever and ever and never fade away?
So let’s not play the world’s game. Let’s not cheat ourselves and value the tinker toys and little red wagons of this world when we have waiting for us in the presence of Jesus a joy that is greater than all of the Jaguars in the world combined.
– Jason Faircloth, Director of Mission Advancement