“Million Dollar Money Drop” was a short-lived game show that made its contestants face a difficult decision. A couple would start with one million dollars at the beginning of the game, and as questions were asked, they had to decide how much money to wager on the possible correct answers. The money they wager on the right answer is kept, but the money that is not wagered or placed on the wrong answer is lost. The couple I have in mind had $880k on the line when things fell through.
Here is the question they were asked and the possible correct answers they were given:
Which one of these was sold in stores first?
1. Macintosh Computer
2. Sony Walkman
3. Post-it Notes
As the timer started, they argued over how much money to place on each answer. In the end, they placed $80k on Sony Walkman and 800k on Post-it Notes.
When the answer was revealed, the 800k placed on the Post-it Notes dropped through the floor and was lost. Their answer was incorrect, and they were left with the 80k.
If you think about it, though, what’s really sad is how the Christian life is often viewed and lived in a similar way, as if we can just take a partial risk with God by only giving part of our life to Him. Sure, give Him the majority, but make sure to keep a little bit saved on the side to use the way we want.
1 Corinthians 15:19 says, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Is Paul saying that if he ends up being wrong about the cross that he’ll be bummed for losing a small part of his life’s investment? No! He’s saying if there is no cross then there is no one who should be pitied more than a Christian because to become a Christian requires being all in. There was something so crucial and life-dominating about the cross in the disciples’ life that if it turns out to be worthless, then they “are of all men most miserable.”
The Christian life isn’t set up like the “Million Dollar Money Drop.” You can’t go 60% for God and 40% for yourself. It’s all-in.
Does that mean if I sin, I haven’t given God everything and am therefore not a Christian? No, Christians still fail, but at the core of a Christian is the embraced reality that God deserves everything.
Between salvation and glorification is the ongoing process of sanctification, which by God’s grace is working to align our life with that truth we embraced, that Christ really deserves nothing less than 100%.
So the question we’re asking really isn’t should you give God everything, it’s what do you still need to give Him. What did you do today because of the cross? If there was no cross, how much of your day today would be the exact same? Would your life actually be a shame if Jesus was just a man or have you spread your bets enough that it wouldn’t really matter?
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:19 challenge us with not only how drastic the Christian’s life should look but more importantly with how gloriously significant the cross really is. There is nothing more important in all of history, and there should be nothing more impactful in my life than the cross of Christ. Our great calling as Christians is to live in light of that cross, and our great hope is that it’ll all be worth it.