Most of us are astonished at the amounts of money earned by professional athletes. Despite making millions of dollars, many of these famous athletes end up declaring bankruptcy. A 2009 Sports Illustrated documentary concluded that as many as 78 percent of NFL players face financial difficulty within two years of retirement. NBA statistics were as high as 60 percent.

While every case was different, bad investments certainly played a part. Besides his dog-fighting conviction, Michael Vick lost six million dollars in car rental, real estate, and wine shop investments. John Elway had his agent illegally invest 15 million dollars in a Ponzi scheme. Sheryl Swoopes, great women’s basketball player, blew through her 50 million dollars through bad investments. Mike Tyson lost 400 million through a divorce and extravagant spending (two Las Vegas mansions, $173,000 necklace, etc.).

Jesus warned His audience one day (Lk. 12), “For not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” He illustrated that truth with a prosperous farmer whose bountiful harvest demanded the building of new storage barns. However, that man’s death deprived him of ever using or enjoying what he had. Jesus called anyone who is rich in stuff but poor in their relationship with God “a fool.”

Yet today, people will sacrifice their health, family and integrity to get ahead. We do this knowing full well that our wealth will be lost through poor investment, national crisis, natural disaster, or death. Let’s focus on what is really important — treasures laid up in heaven!

Don Loftis
via Calvert City church of Christ
Calvert City, KY

Leave a Reply