Did you know that in 2010 the United States government burned away 2.6 billion one dollar bills!You may think this article is about government waste or excessive spending but it is not. You see money doesn’t last forever. The currency we use is very susceptible to wearing out. On average, a bill will last maybe 5 years. For the more used denomination like ones and twenties, it is closer to 3. So what do you do with the cash that is worn out? The old money is exchanged for newly printed cash. Since the old money is still usable, it must be destroyed. While there are some creative ways of using that old cash, it is still mostly burned. Can you imagine being the person to light fire to a pallet full of cash? To know that many dollars is going up in smoke?
The truth is however cash really isn’t worth anything. It is just sheets of linen (not paper as is commonly believed) dyed and painted a certain way. Its value only comes in our belief in what it represents. We see it as having value because we are told it has value. That value gives it power. People will go wild for it. Throw some cash in the air and watch how people will fall all over themselves to grab some. People have toiled, fought, bleed and killed to get it. All that for something that is just going to be ashes in a few short years.
So when we think about it, how many other things in our lives do we ascribe more value than it really is worth? The world tells us it is so important, so we chase after it. How many have fallen away from the Lord chasing after things that when they get them prove to be of no real value. I think back to when I was younger to the things I wasn’t allowed to do for the moral implication that went with the activities, that I felt I was missing out on the greatest thing in the world. Looking back now I see how foolish they really were. Why would I ever risk my soul being in jeopardy for that?
Paul says in Philippians 3:8, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”. Paul is telling us don’t sacrifice true value for trash. When we are faced with decisions in our lives don’t let anyone other than the Lord set the value. The world will try to convince you that that something that will in the end be burned up is more valuable than your eternal soul.
What might seem to be of value now will just end up in flame!