Have you ever invested time, money, or energy, or maybe all 3 into something, and then found out later it was a waste and not worth what you put into it? How did that make you feel?
Some Super Bowl commercials stick in your memory a long time. Over 20 years ago, E-Trade was a 5-year-old company that made a commercial with a monkey and two old guys all clapping off beat. During the last 5 seconds, they said, “Well, we just wasted 2 million dollars.” That was the cost of 30 seconds of air time during the big game that year. They urged their viewers to not waste their own money how they had. Looking a little deeper, you might find it wasn’t as much of a waste as they had let on.
E-Trade was a newer company back then, providing a platform to buy stocks and options from the comfort of your own home, as the internet and personal computers were finding their way into more homes. They had a net profit of $671 million dollars the year of that “2 million dollar waste” commercial. They also added over 1 million new accounts – more than double the previous year. We might look at the commercial as a waste, but they were laughing all the way to the bank.
They weren’t paying for a quality commercial or for 30 seconds of fame. They knew that money would go toward something of far greater value and return to them ten times over.
How Do You Know It’s Worth It?
In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus says,
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
In the short parable, Jesus tells of a man who found something that held such great value that it was worth trading in all he owned. I bet some of his merchant buddies thought, “what a waste” or “what are you thinking?!” He saw the greater value behind it and knew it was worth the cost up front of all he could offer.
What would you do in that situation? Would you risk it all?
Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven is like that. It’s worth laying down everything, so we can take hold of it. Others may look at you and think, “what a waste.” All that time and money you put toward that God stuff – it isn’t worth it. But we have tasted and have seen that it is worth it. It’s worth everything we could offer and more. We’re getting the better end of the deal, if you could even call it that.
Jim Elliot was a missionary who died doing his work and was famous for saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Let that sink in.
No matter how you look at it, we’re all spending our lives on something. If we’re brutally honest, we see a lot of those things don’t hold their value for long. The memories fade. The clothes wear out. The things break.
Spend your life on what matters and what holds value beyond this life. Jesus shows us the way in this parable, and was willing to give us His life so that we could grasp the greatest thing this world cannot offer – eternal life with our Heavenly Father.
Where Do You Start?
If you are looking for a place to start living a life with value, check out Rooted. Rooted is a 10-week life-changing experience where you will connect with God, the church, and your purpose. Learn and practice 7 rhythms essential to a healthy relationship with Jesus and build strong roots in the truth of God’s Word, the Bible.
You were made for a purpose! Here are some Missions that are always looking for volunteers. Find one or more that break your heart and dive in!