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Deleted Scenes: The Price Tags Are Messed (James 1:5-11)

A Note From Craig...
Recently, a few other Bridge guys and I have been playing a daily basketball puzzle game called “The Immaculate Grid”. It requires a pretty thorough knowledge of basketball players and the teams they’ve played on. Recently, I was on a 3 week losing streak and decided I needed to get serious. I busted out a couple of binders full of my ‘90s basketball cards and started studying. For example, I learned from my collection that a guy I don’t even remember named Pete Chilcutt played for the Grizzlies, Clippers, and Kings, among other teams. That guy is going to get me an incredible “rarity” score one of these days- don’t tell Ceiky, Nathan, or Jesse.

Here’s where I’m going with this. As I was looking at my old cards, I saw a pocket in the binder where I had put the cards I once thought were extremely valuable. Most of these were of a player named Vince Carter. If you don’t know, Vince was the face of the Toronto Raptors in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. I had posters of him above my bed. People like me thought he was the next Michael Jordan. So I took any card I had of him and put it in a protective plastic sleeve, and then put that plastic sleeve inside a hard plastic case. Super-protected. I thought these were the most valuable cards I had and were worthy of extreme preservation.

Vince Carter did end up having a (debatably) Hall of Fame career, but in a fit of self-pity, he left the Raptors in such a cataclysmic mess that I couldn’t stand him for decades after. And he sure was no second Michael Jordan. And as for the cards I kept hidden away for decades? I just looked up one of the better Vince Carter cards I have. Remember, I’ve kept this in multiple protective cases for 25 years. On eBay right now, it’s going for $3.25 USD (or best offer). It sure seems I misvalued that possession, doesn’t it?

I recently heard an analogy of the impact of sin on the world. Here it is: the world is like a giant jewelry shop that’s been broken into. However, nothing got stolen. Instead, the criminals simply swapped all the price tags. Truly valuable things became seen as cheap and expendable, while people began placing massive deposits on fleeting things.

James 1:10-11 says this is the case with worldly riches. As we said on Sunday, people expend huge effort to gain it. They sacrifice relationships for it. They treat it like the most valuable thing in the world. But as James says, the rich will fade away like a wild flower. Worldly wealth’s appearance of majesty and beauty will inevitably be short-lived. Instead, in the end, the most valuable thing in the world is what looks to the world like foolishness and weakness: a relationship with the one true God made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Beware of the swapped price tags in this world. As Jesus says in Matthew 6, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

- Craig

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