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Faithful Words for week of November 17, 2011

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By Dr. Kenneth Faught

  FAITHFUL WORDS

 

 Are you for sale?

 

“What? Know ye not that . . . you are not your own? For you are bought with a price . . . ” (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, RSV).

When the Apostle Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus his first question was, “Lord, what will you have me do?”

His spiritual development led him to conclude that he was “bought” by Christ and no longer belonged to himself! He had sold himself to his Savior.

Are you for sale?

Have you sold yourself to your parents? To your family business? To your family name? To the family inheritance? To not disappointing the one who has told you what she – or he – expects you to do with your life? Have you sold yourself to your friends? To peer pressure? To what others think? To those who intimidate you or threaten you or bully you? Who try to convince you that they are smarter or wiser or more successful than you?

Have you sold yourself to your employer? To the ever rising rung of the career ladder? To your boss – who asks for your time but wants your life? To a paycheck? To a retirement fund? To insurance coverage? To a savings account? To “security”?

Have you sold yourself to the “spirit of the times”? To the idea that life is ultimately about your own success and happiness – that life is about owning and possessing and displaying and building bigger barns to keep more stuff? Are you owned by what you thought you had bought?

Have you sold yourself to a political party or an ideology or a civic organization or a sports team or a school or a religious denomination or something or someone who promises to make you feel important or beautiful or appreciated or loved? Have you sold yourself to the lowest bidder?

Have you sold yourself . . . trying to find out what you’re worth?

I knew a girl, a young woman, who was a student at the college where I taught. She told me one day that another student had asked her on a date. At the end of the evening the young man said to her, “Sometimes when people go to college they have ‘friends with benefits’. Do you want to be my friend with benefits?” Apparently, she let him know that not only was she not interested in the “benefits” – she was not interested in the friendship!

She was not for sale.

I was in downtown Knoxville, looking for an office. Okay, I was lost in a maze of unfamiliar streets. When I stopped for a red light a young woman ran to my window pointing to her wrist. I thought she was asking the time. I naively rolled down my window to discover she had plenty of time. She was for sale. Her real question was, “Was I buying?” My wife didn’t think I was naïve. She thought I was stupid!

Are you for sale? Am I for sale? Sure we are. It’s very likely that we are already “sold” to something or someone. The secret of this life is making sure we go to the highest bidder. The highest bidder. That would be Christ, who gave himself for us.

 

Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.