Who Am I and What am I Worth?

Few names in modern American history carry the fame, glory, and prestige of this one – Elvis Presley. As a singer, musician, and actor he became one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. Although his style was somewhat controversial in his day, he quickly rose through the ranks of the music industry and made it to the top ... eventually becoming known as “The King of Rock and Roll” or for some, simply “The King.”

Elvis had a rough beginning. He entered the world in relative poverty, born in very small house in Tupelo, MS in 1935. His twin brother, coming 35 minutes after him, was stillborn. The family attended a local Assembly of God church and this is where Elvis apparently gained his love for music. Though the early years were rough, he rose from obscurity and became “The King.”

In 1958 while serving in the Army and stationed in Germany, Elvis met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. After a 7 ½ year courtship they got married and in 1968 had a daughter – Lisa Marie. However, they got divorced in 1973 and Elvis’ health, though already somewhat bad, starting spiraling downhill. Though he continued to tour, his list of health problems was long and likely due to serious drug abuse. His physical appearance and behavior became increasingly odd and in 1977 he died. Though he had generated a billion dollars through his recording, movies, franchising, concerts, tours, promotions, etc. he died with a relatively meager five to ten million dollars.  Lisa Marie was only 9 when her dad died, and her inheritance was put into a trust that would become available to her when she turned 25 in 1993.  At that time, it was worth 100 million.

So how’s Lisa Marie doing today some 25 years later? Well, she’s blown the inheritance, says she’s 16 million in debt, has been in and out of numerous substance abuse treatments, and is now in a bitter divorce case with her 4th husband.

Though we associate the name Presley with American royalty, their lives have been far from anything that resembles lasting peace, joy, contentment, and fulfillment. They had it all, any and everything a human could possibly want in this life, yet their stories are tragic and unsettling. I know, you’re probably like me and would be willing to give that $100,000,000 thing a shot, but the truth is that it would probably ruin me (and you) just like it did Lisa Marie.

Perhaps I need to be more like Moses.

Hebrews 11:24-26 – “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

Perhaps I need to put more focus on an inheritance that far exceeds 100 million dollars.

Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

I may not be a Presley by name, but I’m privileged to be in the family of God, known as a Christian, named after my Savior, the true King, Jesus Christ who has earned for me an eternal inheritance that can never rust, spoil, fade, diminish in value, or be stolen. Those of us who know Him are immeasurably wealthy so let’s act rich and rest in that assurance, stop working so hard to build up our own wealth and fame, be generous in our lifestyles and in relationships with others, and continually give thanks to the One who has given us this inheritance.