What Is Important
Human nature gives us a suspicious will. We believe in ourselves, that which we can do and accomplish. We can readily accept human beliefs and concepts. But it goes against our human will to trust and follow a God we cannot completely understand or fathom.
There is a story about a man named Jim who found a beautiful necklace. The gold chain had precious stones engraved into it and held an old tarnished coin. The chain was pretty and looked valuable if one would not notice the ugly old coin on it. Jim took the chain to a local pawn broker he knew who would not ask many questions. The pawn broker looked at the chain with the inlaid stones and thought it could be worth quite a few bucks. But he could not be sure of the chain’s value without having a friend come over to appraise it, and that would cost fifty dollars.
Jim took the old coin off the chain and put it in his pocket. The coin was so scratched up it was probably just an old keep sake someone had put on the pretty chain. Besides, if the owner was really looking for the chain it would be easy to identify with the coin on it. Jim told the pawn broker he would leave the chain and be back with the fifty dollars needed for the appraisal. Jim didn’t know how he was going to get the money to have it appraised, but by hook or crook he would get it.
Jim went over to the local diner to grab something to eat. He saw his old friend Ben sitting at the counter eating his lunch. Jim sat down by Ben and told him his story, how he needed fifty dollars to get the chain appraised; hoping Ben would loan him the money. But Ben merely asked Jim when he was going to pay him the last twenty dollars he loaned him.
Then Jim, being desperate, used his hustler’s pitch and was able to get Ben to buy the old coin that he had taken off the chain for fifty dollars. Ben knew he had probably been taken, but he liked the old coin, and this was better than loaning Jim fifty dollars and never getting anything back.
Jim took the fifty dollars and as he hurried out of the diner, he heard Ben bellow out that he would come over to the pawn shop and get the coin appraised when he was through eating.
Jim waited at the pawnshop for the appraiser to come and then appraise the necklace chain. Jim’s excitement melted way when the appraiser said the chain was only worth seventy five dollars, and the pawnshop broker would only give him fifty dollars for it. For Jim it was easy come, easy go, maybe next time he would be luckier.
Jim now wanted to slip out of the store before Ben got over here to have his coin appraised. If the chain was not worth much, the coin was probably not worth much either, probably worth much less than the fifty dollars he conned Ben into giving him. It would be better if he didn’t see Ben till he had cooled off from the money he would lose on the worthless coin. The only trouble was Ben was walking in the door as Jim was about to walk out of it, and trapped him into staying until the appraiser would put a value on the coin. The appraiser didn’t think the coin was worth much, but offered to look through an old coin book to see if the coin had any worth for ten bucks.
Jim and Ben visited about old times while they waited for the coin to be the appraised. Jim hoped Ben wouldn’t be too mad, for he didn’t think the coin was even worth the ten dollar appraisal fee.
Finally the appraiser came out half laughing. He told them someone had really been taken. Ben, half disgusted, asked the appraiser to tell him the bad news. The appraiser looked at Ben and said, “This is a very rare coin. It is worth over two million dollars.”
To say Ben was happy was an understatement. But Jim could not believe what he had done. He had been so mesmerized by the shining gold chain he had given away the real treasure, the old ugly coin.
So it is with many today. We are so engrossed in the glitter and prestige of this world, the ideals that will make us rich, that seem to fit our lifestyles. We forget to remember that our real treasure comes out of a simple old book written thousands of years ago, the Word of God. For only in this book can we find out how much our God loves us, and how we can become His children.
By not taking the time to look in a coin appraisal book, Jim lost a treasure. By not opening the Word of God we will lose the greatest treasure of all, our God’s great gift of eternal life in Heaven.
*For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1Pe 1:23 NIV+
Copyright 2002 amended 2013, edited 2021 by Ron Borkey
+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD
BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit,
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."