How Much Is Too Much?

odell-beckham-jr.2

Odell Beckham, Jr. is all smiles, because Odell just got paid. The New York Football Giants just offered their star stud a deal that makes him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. Is he worth it? Some say yes. Does he deserve it? Some say no. But the deal is done, and now Odell is one fat cat.

And so the question is this: how much money is too much money? How many cars are too many to own? How big a house or how many houses does one need? How many yachts and private jets and penthouses and beach bungalows does one need to be satisfied? In essence, how much is too much? Most would agree that professional athletes are overpaid. And this just adds fuel to that fire.

On the one hand the Bible speaks of Abraham, and Abigail and Solomon and the Rich Woman from Shumen, all who loved God and were a blessing to their fellow-man, and all of them were very rich. And the New Testament tells of those who were very well off, including the Roman Centurion that built a synagogue for the Jewish People of Capernaum, and Barnabas, both of whom had means. And Jesus himself said that He came to give us abundant life, right here on earth.

On the other hand, rich, yet wise King Solomon said “Labor not to be rich.” (How ironic is that?) And Paul told Timothy that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The Message Bible puts it this way: “Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.” The Bible also speaks of the deceitfulness of riches which “choke the Word.” The New Living Translation says that the “lure of wealth” crowds out the message that God intends for us to receive.

And just what is that message? The message from Heaven is that the Kingdom of God is more important than the things of this world. Yes God wants us to enjoy everyday life, but enjoying everyday life is not the goal of life. If we seek God first, He promised to add things to our life. It doesn’t work the other way around. God comes before things, and money; things and money do not come before God.

Anyway, that was the color commentary — here’s the play-by-play:

“Odell Beckham Jr. has agreed to a five-year extension with the New York Giants that makes him the highest-paid wide receiver in football.

The three-time Pro Bowler can receive a maximum $95 million over the course of the deal ($90 million base value plus $5 million in incentives), with $65 million in total guaranteed money, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson, including $41 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Over the first three years of the deal, Beckham will be paid $60 million for an average of $20 million a year over that earlier term. This means the new money average of the extension is $18 million a year over the five years, but his total average over the entire deal is $16.4 million a year over six years, which includes his previous option year (for this season).”

Step Up 2 ‘Da Plate

Andy Murray has won the 2012 US Open

Ok, it’s time to mix sports metaphors. 

It’s US Open Tennis Tournament time, and Serena Williams is once again the No. 1 female  tennis player in the world.  On the men’s side, Andy Murray, Brittan’s boy wonder ranked No. 3 in the World, is also the defending US Open Champion.  Murray also won the 2013 Wimbeldon Championship becoming the first British man to do so since in 77 years.   Nadal, Federer, Jankovic and Na Li and others are vying for the top spots as well, so we have some great tennis players playing some great players.  The question is, who will step up to the plate this year?  They say that getting there is half the fun.

Spiritually speaking, we all have stiff competition, and no championship is going to be handed to any of us. We will have to fight for it.  Stepping up to the plate means that we must “man up,” quit whining, and do what we need to do in order to win.  Whatever it takes.

Paul encouraged Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith”  (1 Timothy 6:12).  The Good News Translation puts it this way: “Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you when you firmly professed your faith before many witnesses.” Since the letter is for the whole church, Paul’s exhortation for the man of God to flee sin and pursue holiness in 1 Timothy 6:11–12 is likewise for all believers.  All believers should find comfort in the fact that even Timothy needed to be encouraged to persevere. None of us is so far advanced in our sanctification that we do not need encouragement to press on, and no stumbling saint has fallen so far that he cannot be placed back in the race through a word of exhortation. The church is, among other things, to play the role of cheerleader  as we “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).

R.C. Sproul teaches that “everyone who follows Christ makes the “good confession of faith” when he joins a church body, and Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to remember the confession he made before other witnesses is an allusion to the importance of fellow witnesses to encourage us in the faith. All of us have an important part to play in cheering on the discouraged Christians around us, and God will use our encouragement to help others grow to maturity in Christ.”

So step up to the plate.  It’s your turn.  It’s your time.  Your teammates are counting on you.  Your family, your co-workers, and people you don’t ever know need you to step up to the plate. Get in the game; get a hit, get on base, and don’t allow the inning to end on your watch.  Determine to see the ball and then hit the ball (I phrase I borrowed from the film Trouble with the Curve).
Determine not to get called on strikes.   At the plate, keep saying to yourself “I can do this!”