Today, Brad Harmon from Marketplace Christianity and I are trading posts with other. Brad is the founder and editor for Marketplace Christianity. A former certified public accountant, he now spends his time blogging, speaking, and consulting on ways to bring our faith into the marketplace.
We are both writing on how to apply Matt 13:44 in the workplace. I’m honored to have my post on his website, found here. Bradley’s excellent post follows below.
One of my favorite television shows is American Pickers on the History Channel. A camera crew follows two men, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they scour the country’s junkyards, basements, and barns for hidden gems. It amazes me what they find and how much they can get selling it.
There’s Gold in Them There Hills
Everything Must Go
Frank needed to raise the money to purchase the old farm where he’d found the coins and secure the legal rights, permits, etc. to be able to claim his find. He figured he’d need about $350,000, but that was a paltry sum next to the $20 million he estimated his find to be worth.
Even so, Frank knew he would have to sell everything he owned to raise the money. He knew there was a risk that he could be wrong about all of this. Even worse, he knew that nobody would understand until he had the gold coins.
None of this seemed like much sacrifice to Frank though. All he could think about was the millions he’d get in return. He gladly sold everything he had so he could purchase that old farm and all that Roman gold hidden on it.
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you were in Frank’s situation? Would you give up the bird in the hand for the two in the bush? Or, in this case, the $20 million buried in the old field? It would take a complete, sold-out commitment – wouldn’t it?
Do you feel sorry for Frank? Sure, he had to sacrifice by selling everything he had to purchase the farm, but trading $20 million for $350,000 hardly makes me feel sorry for this guy. In fact, it’s hard for me to really call what he went through a sacrifice at all knowing about the payoff he’d receive.
Do you think Frank sat around talking about all the things he had to give up, or do you think he’d be telling everyone about the $20 million he found?
Jesus Talked About a Man Like Frank
Jesus talked about a man very much like Frank when he told this parable.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44, KJV)
Okay, I have a confession to make – Frank isn’t real, but you probably already guessed that. I just updated this parable, because it’s so familiar that, if I’d started with it, many of you would have not felt the excitement of this man the way you might have related with Frank.
This man did not begrudgingly sell everything he had. He did it because of the great joy he had from finding this treasure. This is what Jesus is telling us being a Christian is like.
Are You Dwelling on the Sacrifice?
Too many Christians are still stuck on the sacrifices they make for being a Christian. Are you constantly talking about how hard it is to live the Christian life? Do you find yourself telling your co-workers “I can’t go to happy hour,” or “I’m a Christian so I can’t …”
Is it any wonder that people don’t want to know more about your God? He sounds like a real downer, and it doesn’t look like He gives you very much in return. Maybe you were foolish to make such a sacrifice?
Or, do the people you work with see how smart you were to trade away your possessions for something infinitely and eternally more valuable? The man in this parable was no fool – he was savvy. He made a wise investment, and he knew it. He was overjoyed with his decision. What about you?