When you think of spare change, what do you think of? Maybe you think of a dime, a nickel, a quarter or whatever amount is jingling around in your pocket.
If you’ve been following the financial news of late, you know that Greece doesn’t have any change that they can spare. Their concern runs much deeper than a pocket full of coins.
The International Monetary Fund has told the Greeks they need to repay the $334 million they owe by the end of this week. Apparently the lenders are tired of Greece’s foot-dragging measures, and they have issued some take-it-or-leave terms to the deeply indebted nation.
This scenario reminds me of the huge debt that Jesus assumed and paid for with His life:
- Romans 6:23: The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- I Corinthians 6:20: You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
- I Corinthians 6:20: You weren’t set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed. Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ.
Jesus gave everything He had on the cross, so you could have it all throughout eternity. Like the Greece situation, it is a take-it-or-leave scenario. In this case, however, when you take Jesus, your debt is paid in full.
Success is determined through a process of standards and measurements. In the world of sports, speed and strength are two important measurements. At the NFL combine, athletes go through a rigorous examination of their physical skills and abilities based on the criteria below:
- 40 SPEED: 40-yard dash time.
- 3-CONE: 3-cone drill time.
- SHUTTLE: 20-yard shuttle time.
- VERTICAL: Vertical jump – measured by the differential between a player’s reach and the marked flag.
- BROAD: Broad jump distance.
- BENCH: Bench press – measured by the number of times a player bench presses 225pds.
A sports analogy was on Paul’s mind when he wrote of athletes who disciplined their bodies in preparation for the Isthmian Games. Paul said, “Everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away (I Corinthians 9:25).”
Like the athletes of today, the aspiring athletes of Corinth lived a disciplined life in preparation for the sporting events. They realized that the exemplary life of an athlete is the result of an examined life.
Standards and measurements should be as important to the Christian as they are to the athlete. Paul said:
Examine yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it (2 Corinthians 13:35).”
The unexamined life is a nefarious life, and it can make for precarious habits. Benjamin Franklin eschewed sloppy living, so he measured his life by asking himself two questions each day:
- The Morning Question: What Good shall I do this Day?
- The Evening Question: What Good have I done today?
Franklin believed these two questions are the key to an examined life that is as efficient as it is beneficent. I encourage you to use these questions to measure your life through the remainder of this year.