Today my favorite football team traded away one of its best players, because he was “unhappy” playing for the paltry three million dollars a year they were paying him. Hmm.
I am not certain what all occurred to make this gentleman unhappy, but one thing is clear; with two years left on a contract he signed in good faith, he suddenly decided the contract didn’t pay him enough. Maybe he is right. Maybe he is one of the better players at his position, and compared to the others at his position, should be paid more. But it seems to me, and it occurs more and more in professional sports, that sports contracts are a lot like Hollywood marriages, made to be broken.
Is it all a matter of comparison, though? If it is, then shouldn’t everything be a matter of comparison? After all, although he is very good at what he does, he isn’t as good at what he does as I am at what I do, which leads to my next question. If I am better at what I do than he is at what he does, and this is all a matter of comparison, shouldn’t I get paid far more than him? In fact, maybe I should walk off the job tomorrow, tear up the contract, and tell my client I won’t be back until he pays me better than what everyone else is making. In the end, wouldn’t that be fair?
The truth is, fair walked out the door when Jesus died for me. If I wanted fair, I should burn in hell, it is, after all, what I deserve.. And thank God my life is found in His kingdom, where all such comparison is dead. I can’t say for certain why this young man feels he is worth so much. I can’t imagine the pain that causes this sort of egotism. I can’t even relate anymore, and I am thankful for it. But, I can hope that this young man will one day meet my Savior. Then he, as we all have, will realize that comparison is futility.
It is a chasing after the wind, with an ever-climbing performance bar, one that just as you think you are about to clear it, raises itself again. Brothers and sisters, we are not to compare ourselves with anything, or anyone, for who or what can compare with the Beloved of God? Can mountains? Can birds? Can the most beautiful ocean compare? Can an eagle soaring at its wondrous height compare to the beloved of God? Nothing compares to the love of God, which He has freely bestowed upon us. We are His children, and we are above all comparison.
This young man who demanded to be traded was traded to the wrong team. He belongs with God, so he can have a hope that doesn’t require a constant comparison between him and his peers. When we abandon men and women just like him to continue playing that comparison game, we leave them in despair. Sure, it seems a lot easier to share the love of Christ with the poor and downtrodden. But in this young man, I see poorness, and I see a downtrodden spirit. How else can one explain the necessity to prove just how good one is by how much one is paid. How poor a life this will be, unless we tell him about our savior, Jesus Christ. Men and women who are wealthy are every bit as downtrodden and poor as the dirt poor are. For some reason, these wealthy men and women hardly ever hear the gospel anymore. I wonder if we are still playing the comparison game?