You Are What You Earn?????

Pastor Bill had a really great sermon on Sunday. If you did not get a chance to hear it, check out our website and give it a listen. In it, he talked about what our “gods” are and how often they tend to be our stuff. We make our stuff so much more important than it is—making huge sacrifices so we can get more stuff, only to be swept into a cycle that is never-ending.
A common topic on sports radio these days is when is Russell Wilson going to sign a contract with the Seahawks and how much is he going to make. Will he hold out for the biggest contract ever or will he be willing to sign for less so that the Hawks can be competitive for the foreseeable future?
What has surprised me is how many of the “talking heads” on the radio say that no one should begrudge him trying to get the biggest pay day possible. He has earned it. And he would be stupid not to hold out for as much as he can possibly get. After all, in the NFL, you have a very limited time to make your money.
A caveat: I don’t really understand how these contract negations work. I will never make millions. I have trouble even wrapping my head around the kind of money they are talking about. I also don’t really understand the NFL and how it all works.
But what I do study and try to understand is sin. I heard one man on the radio say, “there is not one of us who would not take the highest pay we could possibly make. So don’t judge him for doing what you would do.”
And that is when it hit me how much we worship money, which is just another type of stuff. There is such an implicit assumption in this that unless someone gets top dollar, they are not valued like they should be. That the only way to know a team REALLY wants you is if they pay you more than anyone else.
Do we really believe that? And come on. What is really the difference between 18 million dollars and 24 million. I know– 6 million. But do you really need that much money???
Jesus said, “You cannot worship God and money.” It is simply impossible. And I think one of the big reasons is how money, or stuff, can trap and paralyze us in so many ways. We work extra hours to go on a trip, or have a bigger house, or pay for college—all noble things. But is it worth giving up the time you lose with your family or the added stress? It becomes a vicious cycle. And that is what it seems like I keep hearing on the radio.
If the way you are valued is by how much you make, what happens when you can’t play anymore?
When Jesus talks about money, he wants us to be free from its trapping tendencies. You are not what you make. You are not how much stuff you have. You are so much more than that. And Jesus wants us to be free because we are God’s beloved children and we are called to love the people in our lives.
We live in a world that wants us to see our value in how much we earn, how nice our house is, what brands we wear—all things that in the end, we can’t take with us. But what we can do, is keep money and stuff in their proper place. They can be nice to have—but if we can’t let them go or if we make them too important, then that is when they become a problem.
I like Russell Wilson. I want him to be a Seahawk forever. But I hope that he doesn’t measure his worth on how much he makes. I hope none of us do. Because as soon as he signs his contract, someone else will sign a bigger one.
So God offers us more. Worship me alone and I will set you free. That is something that is priceless.


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