Stealing a Counterfeit
It’s a scene right out of a Mission Impossible movie. Two men scale the roof of the Matter Art Gallery in Olympia, Washington. They cut a hole in the skylight, and then rappel to the gallery floor. They take two huge paintings, and then make their escape. One painting, “Tribute to the Concussed Skier”, is worth $800.00 and the other is worth $600.00. These thieves put all this time and thought into the robbery for $1,400 dollars worth of art, when there were other pieces worth much more!
Gallery owner Jo Gallaugher said, “The pieces they chose are pieces that are most often admired by men in their 20s.” Ouch! Basically she said that they didn’t have mature tastes, that they didn’t know what great art looked like, or both.
The same might be said for us as people who live on a fallen planet. We look for value in a whole lot of things. Those things might include money, fame, power and owning the latest stuff.
I’m reminded of the rich young man in Matthew 19 who came to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Jesus answered by telling him, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and your mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:16-22, NIV)
The young man responded by saying that he had kept all of those commands since he was a little boy. He wanted to know what he still needed to do. Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come and follow me.”
The Bible says the young man went away very sad because he had a lot of wealth. He traded in a chance to spend not only this life with Jesus, but eternity as well for to keep a lot of money!
We may look at him at say he made a horrible choice, but I wonder how many of us make the same choice on a regular basis. There are so many things that look good to us on the surface. That new 60-inch, 3D TV, newest Apple toy or a vacation to Europe are all pretty appealing. A huge house with a pool in the backyard, and an expensive luxury car in the garage would make us feel like we’ve got it made! Or would they? Someone once said that if money made people happy, then there should be a whole lot more happy people.
While some of these things might satisfy, that satisfaction is short-lived. At the end of the day, nothing this world can offer is worth very much. That TV will break. That vacation to Europe will end. That home will have to be kept up, and the car will be replaced by a newer model. The only thing that holds up to eternal value is a relationship with the one who made every good and perfect gift, Jesus!
You can have $1,400 hundred dollars worth of paintings or you can have every masterpiece ever painted and personal relationship with the one who inspired every work of art. Don’t settle for the junk.