A couple of years ago I read the story of a 17-year-old student in China who sold a kidney in order to get the money to build an iPad and iPhone. He did this without the permission of his parents. He simply wanted an these Apple products so badly that he was willing to part with an organ.
What the boy did was unwise and dangerous, but his foolishness is not uncommon. We tend to undervalue what is truly valuable and overvalue things whose worth will not last. In just a few months the most up-to-date technology becomes outdated. We may not trade an organ to get the latest and greatest gadgets, but we do often sacrifice a lot to get our hands on these items. We do this whether we can afford it or not, a move that can throw a real monkey wrench into our finances.
Jesus tells us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus is not impressed by your phone or your car or your home or your bank account. It’s not that money and stuff are evil; it’s just that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil! Again Jesus reminds us, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
You may be smart enough not to trade a kidney for an iPad, but are you smart enough not to trade eternity for that which is temporary?