Beware the Trap of Tinsel and Treasure

I saw vanity under the sun: one person [whose] eyes are never satisfied with riches… This also is vanity and an unhappy business.” Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. His beautiful ornament they used for pride, and they made their abominable images and their detestable things of it. Therefore I make it an unclean thing to them.” Ezekiel 7:19-20

Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs… As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-19

The trouble with earthly riches is that they’re just that: earthly. They are temporary, and distract from the heavenly and eternal. They were not created to be worshiped, but appreciated, and misusing them, or elevating them to idol or redemptive status through disordered affection, leaves us wanting, unfulfilled, and under God’s judgment. (Romans 1:18,21-23)

What draws us to slip into the trap of tinsel, to value shiny and material things more than we should? If we feel a sense of worth in what we own, we must remember God owns all, and what we have is merely on loan from Him. If we wield our treasure as a life-bargaining tool, to win us favor, popularity, or reputation, we must remind ourselves that being made in God’s image, not one of our own making, is our imprint of value. (Genesis 1:26; 1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17)

Where do things of this world get us? To maintaining, to fussing, to comparing, to envy, to ‘never enough.’ We cannot be satisfied, because God made us to be satisfied in Him, not things, not accolades, accomplishments, or acumen. We were made for eternity, to seek what is above. Let us turn from the allure of the present age and its trinkets to put our trust, and love, and identity, in what is of God. Let us choose contentment in Him, and all He provides for us so we can live full lives unto Him. (Psalm 16:11; Ecclesiastes 3:11;  Matthew 6:19-20; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-8)

Father, teach me to value You above all else. Develop in me Your qualities so my life bears fruit for Your glory, and the eternal blessing of others.

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