Back in 8th grade, Sheila’s artistic streak caused her to yearn for colored pencils. The nun who taught at her school, aware of Sheila’s love of colored pencils and that her family couldn’t afford them, tried to bribe her by offering those pencils if she became a nun. Sheila REALLY loved the pencils, but not that much. By the way, to my family and friends who follow the Catholic faith, I don’t mean to imply that is standard church policy.
Her self control beat mine. At a church camp before my senior year at Millikan HS, they gave an invitation to either accept Jesus or to enter “full time Christian service,” or the professional ministry. After what seemed like 659 verses of “Just As I Am,” I committed myself to the ministry. Much of that was from a sincere faith. Sincere, but shallow. But in the back of my mind I hoped for an extra kiss that night from Rosie, that week’s camp romance. More importantly, I thought that would guarantee my ticket to heaven. Sheila resisted the temptation to sell cheap, while I gave in. But before the end of my first year at a Christian college, that shallow faith dissolved.
Sheila knew being a nun wasn’t right for her, so she resisted the genuine temptation. I caved in to emotional and peer pressure and made a good decision for the wrong reasons. We all face the temptation to sell cheap. Sometimes we choose cheap short pleasures that bring more pain than gain. A moment of pleasure with a co-worker can destroy a family. Sometimes we play it safe and allow fear to keep us from the great. Sometimes we follow other’s desires for us that don’t match who we truly are. Sometimes we choose sin that diminishes the depth of our intimacy with God.
Basically, we choose the easy, or the safe, or the short term gain, and all of them keep us from God’s best for our lives. We sell cheap. Lives with enough value for Jesus to become flesh and take on all sin. And, like Esau in Genesis 25, who traded his rights as the oldest son for a bowl of stew, we trade God’s best for something less. Much less.
Kick Starting the Application
Have you sold your best cheap in the past? Were you aware of the cost when you did? What do you most regret about it? Do you face the temptation right now to sell cheap? What most entices you to do it? What best helps you resist? What will you do?