Getting our values all wrong

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Muddled values

It really was a very clever and unusual crime, for on the day that the thief broke into the jeweller’s shop he took absolutely nothing. In fact, his break-in was never discovered for exactly that reason. He slipped in, and slipped out—without removing a thing.

What he did do was ingenious. He went to the display cabinets, took the prices off the most expensive items, and he swapped them for the cheaper ones. Then he went through the items, selecting just what he wanted, changing over the price tags.

The next day—the Saturday girl was at the desk

The thief entered, during the morning, just like any other customer. He began to sort out the items he had carefully selected the previous night. The girl priced them up, unaware that the labels had been changed. Out he walked, with his bag of jewellery, purchased for a fraction of their real cost.

It wasn’t until late in the day, when the till was being added up and when the boss began to collect up the day’s takings that he began to find something odd. By then, the thief had gone.Clever—but naughty!

But—what do we do with the price tags in life? Don’t we tend to get them muddled up?

I mean, young children get them muddled up every year. Many will discard any presents of clothes without a second look — but be eager with the toys. However, they can’t do without good clothes — and they will probably outlive the toys. The very young—they will discard the clothes and the toys—even though great care and some money was spent on them. They’ll play with the paper! We could have saved ourselves a lot of effort!’

We grown ups and older children, don’t we tend to get our values muddled up, just like them?

• All that effort on presents, but very soon, some time in 2016, all interest will be lost in them. Many will be discarded, stuck under the bed, or on a shelf, forgotten.

• We make big efforts to buy each other what we want—and yet, more seriously, we struggle throughout the rest of the year to truly love each other! Often we give up on what’s really valuable and give ourselves to something that is far less important.

• We value our friends and family—and yet in the busyness of Christmas we will spend so much time with gifts, food and perhaps TV, that we really don’t appreciate them as we ought to, or as we might want to. We don’t put our time and effort into the area that is most valuable.

• After Christmas—gym clubs, Weight Watchers, Moves Fitness, Slimming World and a host of other organisations will notice how much we valued our food! So much so, that we want to get rid of all the weight that we added over the holiday period—regretting how much we ate!

We so easily get our values muddled up

So what is of real value? Well, Christmas is the coming of Jesus who was given that name, “because he will save his people from their sins!”. So here is something worth listening to. It’s called a trustworthy saying—“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

Notice, he has not come to educate us, he has not come to instruct us in good, moral, religious living, he has not come to point the finger at us. He has come to save us, and it’s good news—it’s really worth a lot.

So why aren’t more people interested in him? Well, the labels have been swapped around and now we don’t think that sin matters! We don’t think that we are sinners, and we don’t think we need saving!

In the film ‘Superman Returns’, there is this conversation with Lois Lane where Superman says, “You wrote that the world does not need a saviour—but every day I hear people crying for one.”

Jesus comes and dies for you and me.

He dies that we might be forgiven. He dies, that we might know life, and have the power to begin to live right. All he’s saying is humble yourself, so that you’ll admit your need of a Saviour. Open your eyes, and ears, and see what a man and Saviour Jesus is. Take a look at the label attached to him—it says ‘priceless’. Jesus has given his life for you. He calls you, to give your life to him, to turn, and follow him. Pin your life to someone who is truly worthwhile, of immense value .

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