98% vs. 2%

I’ve spent a lot of time at the hockey rink this winter.

6am practices at the York Arena (where a new dimension of COLD is waiting for you), working through suppertime traffic to get to a game (goalies need a little more time to get ready, so I’ve learned), suppers of rink hot dogs (don’t ask) and the pungent smell of the dressing room (really, don’t ask); all this has been part of it, and it’s been a blast. Nahum’s team begins their playoff push this weekend, and then we can hang the gear up somewhere that it won’t attract racoons and bears.

It’s not unusual to hear the call of, “50-50! Get your 50-50 tickets here!” while you’re at the rink. The 50-50 is a way of fundraising for minor hockey, and the premise is simple: but a ticket, and if you win, you get 50% of the ticket sales, with the rest going to the association.

I usually try to make a deal with the kids selling the tickets. I offer to buy one if they’ll make it 65-35 (for me, of course) or even 70-30. No one has ever taken me up on it though.

Imagine if your odds of winning were very good; let’s say you had a 98% chance of winning the 50-50 pot…tempting, right?

  • Or suppose you put your business card in a box at the restaurant to win a free meal, and when you do it, you discover that you have a 98% chance of winning your next supper on the house… like your odds?
  • Would you make an investment in real estate if you had a 98% guarantee that in a few years you’d turn a profit?
  • Would you jump into the squared circle with this guy if you had a 98% chance of beating him and becoming the champ? (Yes, I realize it’s more like 98% you wouldn’t last 30 seconds with him beating on you.)

My point is, we like it when the odds are in our favour. We play percentages, invest wisely, build with a solid plan, and tend to go in the direction of what’s going to work out best.

Would you go with or against the 98%? Exactly.

Check out what I read this morning:

In Matthew 6:19, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” But most people’s lifetime ambition is the exact opposite that: store and get more.  More, more, more.  Jesus continues, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (vs. 20-21).

Where your money goes, there your heart follows.

The average Christian in the United States gives about 2 percent of his or her income toward helping people and advancing God’s kingdom on the earth. That means that the remaining 98 percent goes to the world. Which means that 98 percent of our hearts go toward the world. If you catch yourself wondering why you want more of the world and you’re not satisfied with God, it’s because you have a spiritual problem. We think that more is going to make us happy.

Mark Beeson (GCC) is quoting Craig Groeschel (LifeChurch.tv). Full blog post is here.

Where are you investing your money? In this world or in heaven? There’s more at stake than a rink hot dog.

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