A well known lecturer was speaking before a large group of people for a seminar he was conducting in Dallas, Texas. Well over 200 people were packed into a rather small auditorium to hear him speak. After his introduction, he went to the podium and began by pulling out his wallet. He pulled out a crisp, new $20.00 and then asked who in the room would like to have it?
Hands went into the air from the now attentive audience. "I am going to give this $20.00 bill away, but before I do, I would like to do this." He took the clean, crisp, brand new $20.00 bill and crumpled it up in his hands for several seconds. The speaker then asked, "Who wants this $20.00 bill now?" Hands went up in the air again.
"Well, he said, what if I were to do this?" And with that he dropped the $20.00 bill to the floor and stomped on it and ground the bill into the carpet. The once new bill was now looking a bit worn and some of the edges had a crumpled look to it. "Who wants the money now?" Again hands went up from the crowd.
The lecturer proceeded to walk off of the stage and to a table where left over food was sitting from the earlier meal. He took the $20.00 bill and placed it in a cup of coffee and then smeared gravy on it. He wiped it off with a napkin and returned to the stage. The auditorium was completely silent, you could have heard a pin drop. The speaker once again asked the question, "Who will take the $20.00 bill now?" One hand shot up immediately before the others and the speaker asked him to the stage to receive the money.
The lecturer gave the gentleman the $20.00 and then asked him, "Why did you take the money after all of the things I did to it?" The answer? "It is what it is." The man sat down and the speaker continued. "Today, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the $20.00 bill, you still wanted it because you knew it did not decrease in value. It is what it is... $20.00."
My friends, many times throughout our lives, we are dropped, stained, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions and choices that we make. It did not take very long before that clean, fresh, brand new appearance wore off and we began to look crumpled and tattered. Before long we look at ourselves and we might think that we are worthless. After all, compared to a brand new $20.00 bill, we certainly are not much to look at, if you know what I mean. But no matter what happens, or what will happen, you will never lose value in God's eyes. To Him, no matter what you look like, no matter how crumpled or stained, you are still priceless to Him. You are what you are, someone that was made in the very image of God. And you have been redeemed, paid with a price. And that is something we should never forget.
And that is true whether you live in Hollywood, New York, or Louisville. It is true whether you have a college education or a GED. It is true whether you wear a suit and tie to work or a welder's helmet. It is true whether you live in a 6,500 square foot house or a 1 room wooden shack. Maybe we should get out there to let people know what their appraised value really is... what do you think?