Jesus told the story of a merchant who sold pearls for a living who, when he found a pearl of great value, sold everything that he had so that he could purchase that single pearl. The question is, did he make a good decision? The answer is, if the pearl was more valuable than all of the belongings he sold to acquire it, then yes, it was a good acquisition because even though he was exchanging his entire inventory for a single pearl, that pearl would do more to grow his business and improve his quality of life than all of the lesser pearls that he had been dealing in before.
The ability to recognize value is a key to success and happiness. Each decision you make — decisions about how you spend your time, how you spend your money, who you develop relationships with, what careers you pursue, and more — every decision is an opportunity to acquire something of more value or something of less or even no value. The wisdom that comes with a mature faith and relationship with God is the ability to recognize and invest in actual value in every area of your life.
Whether you are shopping at a garage sale or at Saks Fifth Avenue, if you discover a vintage designer piece, the value isn’t determined by the fact that one seller is asking $20 and the other is asking $2000. If you recognize the quality and understand the value of what you are looking at, your ability to make a good purchase decision will not be determined the supposed value suggested by the seller of the item in their context, it will rest instead upon the actual intrinsic value of the piece. In fact, if the piece is the same piece in both contexts, you are really quite a bit better off acquiring it in a context that doesn’t recognize its value than in one that will confirm its value for you. So, garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, and the like can actually be great opportunities to discover far more value than the supposedly more consistent offerings and external confirmations of value provided by a mainstream retailer. Good decisions rest entirely in your ability to see and to capitalize on actual value, rather than being easily persuaded by external circumstances.
It is the same in every decision in life. Good decisions are not the result of accepting the context provided by your circumstances and letting external influences determine the outcomes for you. Good decisions are the result of an internal recognition of value regardless of context. Seeing the potential for a better outcome in the midst of a rough patch in a relationship and taking the opportunity to invest bringing that relationship to the next level. Understanding the promises that God has made for your life even when things haven’t yet turned around and so finding ways to receive blessings along the road to recovery. Connecting with the people who are dedicated to your success and will support you in finding your way higher and so having voices of faith, hope, confidence, and love to counter the challenges of the enemy along the way. Making the time to spend on the people you love even in the midst of the business of life and so investing in a resource of true value that will carry forward to so many others. Knowing when to persist in pursuing a new opportunity and when to change directions and so receiving the most of what God has to offer you each day. No matter what environment you find yourself in. No matter what the voices in your life are telling you about where you should be by now, or what you should have achieved. No matter who you have been in the past, or who you are worried you might be today. There is no context, no situation, no external influence that can prevent you from making better decisions starting today.
Another story that Jesus told was about a man who found a treasure hidden in a field and sold everything that he had to acquire that field. Your life may feel like that field. So many people look at it from the outside and all they see is the mundane, ordinary, and every day. But you should not let their perspective determine what you believe for yourself. What others see doesn’t actually reflect anything about the actual value waiting for you in your life. To others your opportunities may just look like an ordinary field, but with your eyes of faith God has the ability to show you the hidden treasures that make you worth so much more. Don’t let your value or the value of the opportunities presented to you be determined by other voices in your life. Don’t wait for other people to make your decisions or accept their affirmations or criticisms as the final word. Instead, reach down deep on the inside to hear the voice of God in your heart, opening the way to new and better decisions based on a recognition of actual, lasting, and eternal value — the kind of value that leads to true success, happiness, fulfillment, and peace.
The ordinary often contains the extraordinary when it is put in the right hands. God is ready to show you what has actual value in your life and take your natural circumstances and bring about a super-natural change. As you cooperate and invest in the relationships, opportunities, and decisions that God offers you every day — whether it is your business, your family, your health, or your finances — every aspect of your life is ready to come into a new season of abundance as you begin to recognize and choose actual value and so open the way to receive everything that God has promised for you.