Return On Investment

by Ben Kinchlow

Can you believe it?! Just a few days ago we were rushing madly about preparing for Christmas, and now it’s February! Where did that portion of your life go? We usually say, "where does the time go?" But the truth of the matter is, it’s not time that’s being wasted (as time, in the sense of eternity, is meaningless), it’s your life that’s being wasted. Think about this… 31,536,000; 525,600; 8,760. Meaningless numbers as they stand. But consider them in light of this number… 365. Mean anything? Let me clarify….those are seconds, minutes, hours, and days. You spent 31,536,000 seconds of your life on something in 1998.

Question. Are you happy with what you bought? You see, there is a difference between spending and investing. You spent 525,000 minutes of your life in 1998 on a portion of what you have. Are you experiencing "buyer’s remorse"? Buyer’s remorse is a term that was coined to describe what happens to many people after they buy something. They are enthusiastic about the purchase until they have made it, but then they suffer a case of buyer’s remorse, and if severe enough, they return the purchase. What you bought with your 8,760 hours in 1998 is non-refundable. Are you happy with it? The next time you hear someone say, "I was just killing time", it really isn’t time they were killing, it’s life!

On the other hand, there is investment, quite different from spending. Investment anticipates appreciation, spending anticipates depreciation. Of course, there are risk factors involved. However, careful examination and studious assessment can reduce the risk and make the investment seem worthwhile. The investor always looks for the potential return on his investment. Farmers, in a manner of speaking, invest when they plant seed. They anticipate that the harvest or return will be sufficient to offset their risks.

Life requires you to make conscious decisions daily as to whether you are "spending" your life or "investing" your life. It is also required that you consider what you are investing in. There are blue-chip stocks, high-risk ventures, junk bonds, and scams, any of which can be quite expensive. Life offers almost these exact choices.

God made an investment. God planted a seed. His investment, His seed, was the life of His Son. The anticipated ROI (return on investment) is often denigrated, cast aside, unappreciated, criticized, and in some cases, destroyed. Few truly recognize and place any significant value on that in which God invested His treasure. What could possibly merit the investment of the most inestimable, costly, valued, cherished treasure ever conceived? What possible return on investment could merit such cost?

Ask yourself, what do you know of in this world that could possibly be worth your most valued possession? As I pondered this, I really couldn’t think of very many things that I would deliberately, cold bloodedly, give my most valued possession…. my life,… in exchange for. Oh, I might risk my life in pursuit of a great cause, (i.e., the gospel, or democracy, or defense of my family) or maybe spare a kidney, or an eye, to save the life of one of my children, or restore sight to a blind grandchild. But would I deliberately give up my life for a drug addict, a murderer, a rapist… especially one who had perhaps raped one of my granddaughters, both less than six years old? Frankly, I think you know the natural answer to that question.

Isn’t it amazing that the only return on investment that God anticipated was exactly those people I’ve just listed, and as the Scriptures say, "…such were some of you".

You see, the ROI God has in mind is YOU.