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Bale: overpriced?

Football’s famous transfer deadline day. A day when players’ transfers are negotiated between clubs at ever-increasing cost to them. The drama of whether such and such a player is/isn’t moving to such and such a club for X million pounds equals hours of fun on this annual day of nonsense.

If Gareth Bale’s services are worth €100 million to Real Madrid, let them pay it.  No amount of cash will ever have as much value as a human being to Jesus. So why do we react so negatively when the skills of a footballer, a human being, are valued so highly in cash? I can’t bring myself to join the clamour that says that Bale is not worth that amount.

Shocked as some may be, I say this because that is not even a smidgen of his real worth to Jesus. It is infinitely less than the valuation placed upon him by the saviour who values him at the price of his own life. 

Anyone reading this is likewise personally worth more than €100 million. That may not be reflected in the remuneration we receive for our services on payday, but why should it be?

However, I fancy you could bail (excuse the pun) out the national debt of a small country with the fee and wages now attributable to Gareth Bale.

On Monday I was on the Virgin Pendolino from Liverpool to London. With a double seat all to myself, I had in one hand Heidi Baker’s book Compelled to Love and in the other my iPhone.

The iPhone was informing me of the latest transfer developments. The book in my other hand told of the extraordinary impact of the Sermon on the Mount on Heidi Baker’s life. Blessed are the meek - her stories bring this to life. The real value to Jesus of the children she ministered to shone out page after page.

And yet if you were watching me, you would have seen my eyes flicking from the foolishness of the gospel to the foolishness of football transfer day, back and forth again and again. My football team traded a few players. But Jesus traded his life for ours. That is how to measure what someone is really worth.

In the marketplace, something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The way gold prices fluctuate and the scenes of an auction room prove that worth is subjective. This is good news. We have a relational God and are a relational human race. What I am worth to Jesus is my real worth, and that price has been settled upon for all time.

So if I am never worthless to Jesus, and I am worth the price he paid for me – his own life – then I care a lot less how much I am worth to other people. But I hope they see that I am worth the life of my saviour. Give Jesus credit for that.

Colin Green is the author of How to Run a Football Club

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