By Ben May
When I was in sales we were warned against counting on prospects that really were not prospects at all. They looked liked a prospect, talked like a prospect and acted like a prospect. But in reality they had no intentions of purchasing our product. We called them “China eggs”.
A China egg looks just like a real egg, all nice and shinny, but it will never hatch because it is made out of porcelain. God spoke of this same idea through Jeremiah in Jer 17:11. “As a partridge that broods (lit. Sits on eggs) but does not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.”
Don’t we sometimes put our hope in the wrong place or in the wrong person? It may be that we fail to “move on” to the next lost soul in sharing the gospel. The scriptures point us to times when our efforts would be better spent somewhere else. When the Jews in Corinth opposed Paul’s teaching about Jesus being the Christ “he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6) Sadly, there are some who look like brethren but prove themselves to be those we should avoid. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” (Rom 16:17)
Going back to our verse from Jeremiah, sometimes we put our trust in the wrong place. We think we have something but in reality, it will never “hatch”. The person who “gets ahead” at any price will find that he has put his treasure in the wrong place. At the end of his life he will find that his “eggs” never hatched. “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lk 12:20-21).
Perhaps the real lesson for us is this: “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (1 Thes 5:17) Our greatest hope is that which we cannot even see with the naked eye. “...but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Rom 8:24) But when we only trust in what we can see or if we put our efforts in that which will never produce anything, then we are sitting on China eggs which will never hatch!
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