What is a person worth? That is a huge question going on right now in major league sports as professionals are negotiating contracts and free agents are looking for the best deals.
Albert Haynesworth went into the free agent market and the Washington Redskins think he is worth a lot. He signed a $100 million contract that includes a record $41 million signing bonus. That is strong! Manny Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many other players are “testing the market” to see what they are worth. It doesn’t appear that the economy is in a down turn when we see what so many of these players are getting.
At the other end of the spectrum is the story of John Odom. He was a former prospect in the San Francisco Giants’ chain. Odom is from Roswell, Georgia. He had a bumpy four years in the Giants’ farm system, never getting above Class A. The Giants released him last year and the Calgary Vipers picked him up. Because of a 1999 conviction for aggravated assault, Odom couldn’t get into Canada. So Calgary made a trade. The initial trade called for a cash settlement of $1,000 to the Vipers. The Vipers decided they didn’t want to do a cash deal because it made them look financially unstable. So they made another proposal that has now become famous.
Odom was traded for some bats the Vipers could use. At $665 for ten bats, made by Prairie Sticks, double-dipped black, 34 inches long, model C243, Laredo agreed to the deal. At first it was news novelty and Odom liked it. Evidently it got the best of him when he did not pitch well at Laredo. They called him “Bat Man” or “Bat Guy” or “Bat Boy.” He quit in humiliation. Six months later he was found dead from an overdose.
How much was he worth – ten bats? Is a football player or baseball player worth $110 million? How much are you worth? Focus on how much God thinks you are worth. You are worth everything to Him. You are worth so much that He sent his only Son into the world so that whosoever believes in Him should never perish but have everlasting life.
Peter reminds us in I Peter 1:7 that the faith we have through Jesus Christ is “more precious than gold which is perishable.” In I Peter 3:4 he reminds us that when our lives are truly lived according to His spirit that we become “a hidden person of heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” Some scientists have estimated what the chemical components of our body might be worth. It is not very much. God calculates the worth of every person by the fact that He created us, loved us, and sent His Son to save us. Each of us is of inestimable worth in His sight!
Your worth to God is more than any contract that any athlete will ever sign. God will never trade you for anything – not even a few bats or multi millions of dollars. Ask God to help you today to know your worth, and to live it out accordingly!
John Ed Mathison
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