$1 Million Or A Penny – What’s Your Choice?


Christian studies, activities

Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, “ye shall not surely die; 5  for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Gen. 3:4-6).”

 Recently I did an unscientific survey asking people to make a choice between $1 million and a penny. Initially I thought the answer to this straightforward question would be a slamdunk, and yet it really wasn’t. It is amazing how some of us can botch a clear cut plan. Consider the following story.

To kick off their opening ad campaign, a new chewing gum marketing department asked four people to try out their new gum. The first guy was asked his opinion of the gum; his response was, “can I have more?” The next two respondents also gave favorable reviews. Encouraged by the first replies, this new gum began contemplating advertising their perfect product.

However, the fourth participant complained and shouted, “this gum blows, and I don’t mean bubbles!” So the marketing department held off their campaign, and tried four more guys, only to find the same pattern as in the first instance. Again they tested four guys, again the same results. Finally they decide just to advertise, “3 out of 4 people like our product!”

Meanwhile a tobacco company begin surveying for their product, and as it happens, those same three aforementioned recalcitrant respondents who were noncompliant in the “safe” gum product, are interviewed. One of these respondents was picked to be a spokesperson for the other two, and was asked his opinion of the tobacco co.’s cigarettes. This spokesperson tried to reply but had an uncontrollable cough, so another person was selected. Again, he was also unable to respond, so the third interviewee was chosen. After a long arduous struggle, and finally getting control of his cough, his answer was, “it tastes good!”

We inherited the lethal judgment depicted in the above story when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:6). “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverb 16:25).” Notice how those respondents who didn’t like the gum were captivated by the pernicious tobacco product. The Apostle Paul said, “for that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I (Rom. 7:15).”

A rich man offers a man who was hard on his luck $100 out of the kindness of his heart. He was flabbergasted when the poverty-stricken gentlemen asked him for a penny instead! Instead the destitute fellow asked the rich man if his dollars shine as well as a penny? Confused, the rich man replied, “no.” Then the poor man asked the rich man if he could throw a dollar as far as a penny? The exasperated rich man inquired, “is that important to you?”

Unfornately our lack of judgment causes us to focus on the wrong things, either because of ignorance, or lack of discipline etc. What’s the solution? Flee from death, accept God’s salvation by confessing Jesus, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved (Rom. 10:9). How long will you refuse your incorruptible inheritance (I Pet. 1:4)? How long will you deny the Source of your being (Act. 17:28)? How long will you reject God because of your scornful and potentially lethal judgment (Psa. 1:22)?

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