My kids like a thing called Pokemon, a card game that you not only play, but also collect and trade cards. I’m a gamer so I think it is pretty cool too. Every once in a while you can find me playing a round with my kids. At different functions you might see kids (including mine) checking out each other’s collection and making high stakes trades. It can be intense. I tell my kids to be wise with their trades, but ultimately a good trade is one they are happy with after the trade is done. They could trade the best card they have, and if they get the card they want then it’s a good trade.
I was thinking this week, “What would I trade for grace?” In the gospel I traded my life, full of sin and of God’s wrath, for the life of Jesus, sinless and pleasing to God. That seems an amazing trade for me. Yet, as amazing as it sounds, that’s actually what grace offers! What fool would pass it up?
But I had another thought, “What would I trade grace for?” Not in the sense of trading away my salvation, rather trading away the life grace has won for me through salvation. The life of grace places God’s glory and enjoyment of him above all else, but my life doesn’t always look that way. Why not?
Because I choose to trade it away. We each have things that we inordinately value. Mine is not the same as yours, yours is not the same as another Christian’s, your spouse likely has different values, so do your kids, your parents, your grandparents, and so on. But unlike Pokemon, the value of trading grace is not based on what you or I think is good. Too often we are wrong when we think we know what will make us happy. God is never wrong, though. And when he says, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it,” (Luke 9:24) he means it.
So, are you in the mood for a trade? What is your price to turn away from your Savior today? It’s not worth it, even for a second.
But Satan’s sly voice still calls, “Trade?”
The world’s pleasures still beckon, “Trade?”
Your fleshly desires woo, “Trade?”