I heard this story once (almost certainly made up) of a burglary at an expensive west-end jewellers, oddly nothing was taken, the only thing the intruders did was to swap the price tags around on everything, so no one knew what was worth what and they were able to legitimately buy great treasures for tiny prices.
Sometimes life feels a bit like this, as though everything’s values are just gone wrong and the worlds gone crazy!
Yet then sometimes I realise how much I am sucked into the world when I realise that the worlds warped and crazy values have become my values. Eugene Peterson paraphrased Romans 12 with “don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould” don’t fall for the lie that things can make you happy, or work is more important than your family, or that this promotion will leave you feeling satisfied, or if I can make people laugh and be popular I will be fulfilled…
There is a phrase “knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing”.
I once heard someone say “advertisers are false evangelists selling fake salvation” -this idea that happiness can be obtained by (whatever) and then when we buy the product it doesn’t bring the hoped for fulfilment.
J.John once said “we buy things we will never use, with money we haven’t got, to impress people we don’t like” doesn’t this sound like a world where our values need to be readjusted.
we can have everything, and actually have nothing.
we can have nothing, but yet actually have everything.
Here is some words of Isaiah that sound a bit like what I believe Jesus longs to say to me and too you (Is.55).
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
we need to look at the world not with our distorted human lenses but with they eyes of Christ through faith. As I type this I am reminded of a kids worship song “Fix your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace”.
Seeing things with Gods vision sets us free from the false values of a fallen world.
Scripture talks of the Christian building with Gold, Silver and Costly stones not with mud, straw and clay that get burned up in the dross, the problem is from this side of eternity it is the empty things that seem to shine the most brightly, but yet as we know often that which glistens is not always Gold.
Lets ask God to see the world with his values not our own limited and partial vision of an upside down world being turned the right way up for the sake of the Kingdom of God.