“Then Jacob gave Esau bread and vegetable soup, and he ate and drank, and then left. So Esau showed how little he cared about his rights as the firstborn son.”Genesis 25:34 (NCV)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of things. Not in terms of flea markets and BOGO sales…REAL value. What do I value? What SHOULD I value? Do I really value things as much as I say I do…as much as I THINK I do?
The Scripture above is the conclusion to a story of a man who, in desperation, made a rash and selfish decision to exchange his birthright–which I will attempt to explain–for what essentially equates to a Panera lunch. In the Old Testament, a birthright was a huge deal. In today’s terms, the birthright is most comparable to being next in line for the British crown. A person stood to receive a double-portion of their father’s inheritance, and absolute authority over the people in their tribe. If you want to really get in-depth, there are some great commentaries out there. For the rest of us, I’ll continue.
For those of us who are familiar with the story of Esau, we think, “What a dope! To sell off your future–and the future of your family–for a meal?! Who does that?!”
Sadly, we all are guilty of the same stupidity, at times. For the most part, the acts seem trite, and the consequences aren’t near as great–initially. But over time, these things take their toll. How often do we:
- Shush our children, because our favorite television show is on?
- Pull out our credit card with the 12% interest rate to pay for a coffee fix, driving us further into ever-surmounting debt?
- Spend long hours at work in order to make provisions for our family–including the dinner that will yet again be eaten without our presence?
There are harder issues out there as well. What would you trade your FAMILY for? Ten million dollars? Eternal youth? How about a one-night stand? A line of cocaine? The last two suggestions seem so extreme…so out there…so UNBELIEVABLY FOOLISH!!! And yet, I’ve seen so many people do just that. And I’m not judging–I’ve been there! I’m guilty of making decisions that could have potentially cost me everything. True, there is healing. There is redemption. I have experienced that as well. But the pain of those decisions reaches so much further than you can possibly realize in that moment of selfishness.
I urge you TODAY to take a serious inventory of your values. Allow yourself to be HONEST in ranking God, family, career, fun, money…whatever it is that you value. If you find that your priorities aren’t in line with your values, begin to work on it today. And don’t be discouraged when (not if) change doesn’t happen overnight. Find someone you can trust to hold you accountable. Do it for you. Do it for your family. You can start living a valuable life right now.
Thanks for reading.