Devotion: What is it worth?

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

Mark 8:36

I have over 6,000 baseball cards in my attic. Unfortunately, I grew up in the 1980s, when every child heard stories of a rare Joe DiMaggio card helping pay for someone’s law degree. So, these cards became our first foray into investing. Each month, when my Beckett price guide arrived, I would excitedly calculate my new net worth since one of my cards had ^ $0.10.

One afternoon, I raced downstairs to show my father the value of my collection. He then shared with me a valuable lesson. No matter how much I thought the cards were worth, they had no value until someone bought them from me. They were valueless unless another wanted the 1987 Topps card for Bob James.

Their value is not found in what I say they are worth. Rather, their value is based on what someone else is willing to pay.

I thought about this lesson and the stack of baseball cards in my attic when I read:

“For nothing a man attains in his life has any value whatsoever until the very moment that he freely gives it away.”

QSource – Dave Redding

All of our achievements are inconsequential if we cannot leave it well for another person to build upon. Watching leaders stumble and fail at this transition shows how difficult it is. Pastors unable to retire do irreparable harm to the ministries they had served; entrepreneurs incapable of raising up the next generation fail to see their startups mature past themselves. As someone once told me, “you only know if your parenting was successful when you meet your grandchildren.”

The value of man’s life is found only in what lives on after him. None of the achievements matter until then. Like my complete set of 1992 Upper Deck cards, they remain valueless until another claims what they are worth.

The value of life is not found in what you say you are worth, but what someone is willing to pay. Which is why Jesus Christ came to reveal to you your ultimate value. Even with all your wrinkles, tears, creases, errors, bent corners, and the poor condition you are in, He determined that you were worth enduring the cross and scorning its shame so that you may know that you have eternal value in God’s economy. With that having been paid for, we are then freed up to live and give ourselves to others.

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