by Tad Lindley
See how shopper savvy you are. How much would you expect to pay for a 12 count case of 3 lb. cans of Crisco brand shortening? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, a whopping 576 ozs. of Crisco, enough to keep your family in akutaq for the next twelve months! All of this delivered to your post office box free of charge courtesy of Amazon.com.
Write your answer here: _________. (see the end of the column for the actual retail value)
How about one for the men in the readership. Men, how much would you expect to pay for a roll of Gorilla Tape? This is a 35 yard long roll of black tape brought to you by the Gorilla corporation, the rising star in the field of duct tapes, it is perfect for everything from snow machine windshield repairs to a rain pants to chest waders conversion kit. Throw in a tube of superglue and you now have the complete field medical kit! How much would you expect to pay for this modern wonder?
Write your answer here: _________.
Jesus played the Price is Right
It almost makes you wonder if the creators of the Price is Right got their idea from the Bible. After all Jesus asked a very famous question about how much something was worth. I’m going to pose the question from the Bible and I want you to pause and think about it. Just like you did with the Crisco and the Gorilla tape. Without the fanfare and the music and the screaming crowd, Jesus asked this question: Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) Pause and think about it. How much is your soul worth?
This guy had the wrong price
Jesus told this parable (a story invented to teach a principle). Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)
The rich man thought that his farm was more important that his soul, and instead of focusing on salvation, he was focused on himself. Instead of thinking about eternity, he wanted to make something of himself in this life.
The Elvis story
One of the saddest illustrations of this that I can think of is a man named Elvis Presley. His voice is recognized the world over. What you may not know about him is that as a teenager, he was baptized in Jesus’ name and received the Holy Ghost in an Apostolic church. He could have lived out a simple life, been a saint in the church and a music minister, and be an old man in a Pentecostal church in the south. Instead he took the road that led to fame. He had all the friends and all the drugs that money could buy. His name and voice are still immediately recognized, even by those who were not yet born when he died. They found his 42 year old “medication” ravaged body on the bathroom floor. The price he paid was all wrong. The peace and security of a solid walk with God, for the fleeting fanfare of fame.
What about you?
Are you trading your soul for things that are leaving you empty and hellbound? If that is you, I offer you the rest of Jesus’ Price is Right question: For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:25-26) The things that really count are found in God. If you are ready to let go of the things that don’t satisfy that emptiness inside, lose the world, and gain your soul; the price is right!
Actual retail values:
12 count case of Crisco: $63.61
35 yd roll of black Gorilla tape: $8.47
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.