According to Forbes Magazine, these are the 2014 highest annual grossing athletes in the world.
Floyd Mayweather: $105 million salary/winnings (Zero endorsements)
Cristiano Ronaldo $80 million salary/winnings $52 Million (Endorsements $28 million)
Lebron James: $72 million salary/winnings $19.3 million (Endorsements: $53 million)
Lionel Messi: $64.7 million salary/winnings $41.7 million (Endorsements $23 million)
Kobe Bryant: $61.5 million salary/winnings $30.5 million (Endorsements $31 Million)
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Honorable mentions: Tiger Woods $61.5 Million, Roger Federer $56.2 Million, Phil Mickelson $53.2 Million, Rafael Nadal $44.5 Million, Matt Ryan $43.8 Million* (including signing bonus)
Still still, I’ll read stories of star athletes feeling underpaid or under appreciated if a rival athlete of the same sport is being paid more than him, and so he feels the need to hold out until his wages reflect a higher earning potential. Under the same train of thought, a fair question is raised, “Is gross income measure by which we are to measure our value?”
I think when we turn to the scriptures God gives us a different perspective on earning potential.
“…For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” -Luke 9:48
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:6-7
“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew 19:30
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” -Luke 14:11
It appears God places value in those who are humble, who value themselves as very small in comparison to God. God sees the big picture past individual earning potential. He sees a glorious kingdom made up of those who were the least, now turned into kings armed with unlimited earning potential, and with the greatest endorsement of all from our creator Jesus Christ.