When we were kids, one of my younger cousins would trade you his dime for your nickel. He thought bigger was better. That the size spoke its worth.
We laughed, pleased with ourselves for pulling something over our younger cousin. Trouble is, when we grew up, we let the world pull the same thing over on us.
We’ve bought into the stuff, the titles, the degrees, the labels, the whatever it is that’s being sold this week.
I know. I think I’m too smart for those pitches too. But I find myself trading my dime for someone else’s nickel too.
I’m looking for my place. I”m looking for status, for recognition but these are empty. They will never describe my worth or my value.
The text we grew up on says this:
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 KJV
Eugene Peterson, in the Message, expands on that as he writes with more context:
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? Mark 8:36-37
It’s why we shut out the 24-hour news cycle and close our laptops. It’s why I turned off notifications on my phone. At times, it’s hard. I don’t want to be the las one who knows the latest app or the political jokes the late night talk show hosts are making. But it’s fools gold. In the scheme of life, it’s worthless.
I believe my value will only be found of worth through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Am I a nice person? Yes
Do I want to make a positive difference in this world? Yes
Do I show my love for my family and friends with actions and words? Yes.
Yes, yes, we are good people. But Jesus wants more than good. He wants all. He is described as the pearl of great price. His sacrifice has paid the price. He alone makes us worthy.