“For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
Imagine that you went into a store one day and all the price tags were switched around. Someone came in during the middle of the night and pulled the price tags off of expensive items and put them on the cheap ones. And vice versa, they put all the cheap price tags on the expensive items.
So items that should cost $100 were being sold for a $1 and items that aren’t worth more than $1 were being sold for $100. What would happen? What would the scene look like?
Well, apparently that actually happened several years ago at a Walmart. A group of college students wanted to pull a prank so they somehow found a way to switch around all the price tags overnight.
And they really fooled people. People actually believed the false price tags.
You had items which were worth practically nothing being sold for a lot of money. People thought they were getting something valuable but in the end it turned out to be junk. But they didn’t realize it because they were fooled by the price tag.
And on the other side, you had items which were very valuable but they were being ignored because their price tags said that their value was low. People were walking right by them but they never realized how much they were really worth because the price tags were switched.
Can you believe it? Confusion and chaos all around. I can’t imagine what those poor suckers must have felt like when they discovered the truth. Can you?
Well, believe it or not, the same thing is happening today all around the world – but this time it’s much more serious. The perpetrator isn’t a college kid and the location isn’t a store in the middle of nowhere and what’s at stake is much more than just a few dollars.
The prankster in this story is Satan – the Devil himself. He is the one who is playing a trick on all mankind. Somehow he managed to sneak into the world while we weren’t paying attention and switch all the price tags on the things that matter in this life.
And we fell for it.
He convinced us that the things of this world are more valuable than the things of God – things like success, prestige, fame, pleasure, happiness, etc. “Do whatever you can to get those. Pay whatever price – even if you need to sell stuff to get them. But do whatever it takes. Those are the most valuable items in the store,” he says.
And we fell for it. We fell for it not realizing that all those things are garbage. They are all useless.
Go ahead, chase after fame. Get all the FAME you can get. Work your hardest to be famous and well known and respected. And then see what happens to your fame in the end.
Go ahead, pursue WEALTH and RICHES. Work 100 hours a week and ignore everything else around you get it. But what are you going to do that wealth and those riches when all is said and done? Will you take it with you? Are you planning on using it to place a down payment on a mansion in eternity? Is that why you love it so much?
Go ahead, spend your life seeking PLEASURE for today – pleasure that makes you feel good for a moment. You better hope that moment lasts long – because the damage you are doing to your character and to your integrity (and to your family if you have one) certainly will be long lasting and it might even be permanent.
Jesus said this: “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
So what does matter then? What are the valuable items in this “store”?
Your CHARACTER and INTEGRITY matter. “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.” Psalm 15:1-2
The PEOPLE in your life matter.“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” 1 Corinthians 13:2
Your RELATIONSHIP TO GOD matters.“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17
Satan is a sneaky guy. He’s been playing tricks on people for a long time (go back and check out the fast one he pulled on Adam and Eve back in Genesis 3 - he really messed them up). He is an expert at switching price tags.
Are you going to fall for it?
For discussion: can you remember a time when you were fooled by the switched price tags? What helped open your eyes?