I have never been an abnormally materialistic person. In fact, when it comes to love languages, giving and receiving gifts is last on my list; I’d prefer a hug or a kind card. But lately I have struggled so much with wanting to buy stuff. Friends of ours recently moved into their new home and have begun the process of setting it up. Suffice it to say that upon entering those beautiful wooden double doors, one is greeted by a room that looks like it came straight out of Better Homes and Gardens (but like a really trendy, rustic version). I’m so jealous. Our last visit there, I found myself gazing longingly at the handcrafted fireplace, the brick wall in the den, the furry couch pillows…I could go on…
Don’t get me wrong, I love our apartment. It’s cozy and warm and the perfect size for our little family. And it has plenty of stuff in it. Plenty of stuff we don’t need, in fact. But it seems like every time I see something that looks pretty, whether it’s in a house or on a person, I feel like I have to have it.
I try to justify my desires for more things by only shopping in the clearance section, or at thrift stores and flea markets. I tell Matthew, “You’re so lucky that I’m not high maintenance and can shop for so cheap.” Yeah. ‘Till I buy ten books, three shirts, five dresses, a pair of shoes, and a homey knick-knack at Goodwill for $50.00. Then it’s not as cheap. The point is, I constantly desire what we don’t need.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having money and spending it on your family and your home, and even on fun frivolity every now and again. But these past few weeks, there has been something seriously wrong with my heart. My heart has forgotten that eventually all I have ever owned and will ever own will be in a landfill. My heart has forgotten that happiness and fulfillment do not come with possessions. My heart has forgotten that the Bible has promised me treasure that is spiritual. In fact, 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great wealth.”
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “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…” (Eph. 1:3) What are these spiritual blessings that we have when Christ lives in us, you ask? In his letter, Paul goes on to say that we have been chosen by God before Creation, we are holy and blameless, Jesus loves us, He has adopted us as His children, we are accepted, we are redeemed by His blood, we are forgiven, we have unmerited favor, we can know His will, He has given us an everlasting inheritance, we know the Truth, we have the Holy Spirit, we have hope, we have power (Eph. 1:1-14).
Welp. This list makes even the best flea market bargain look like dirt. And I have made some awesome flea market purchases. But even if I stood all alone in an empty field with no clothes on my body or a single item to my name, I am ever so wealthy. Because I have the treasure that is Christ living inside of me, and it will never perish or fade away or leave me for someone better.
This spiritual treasure is expensive, though. It came at a high price. God’s precious Son gave His perfect life in order that this treasure may be ours. The only thing we must give up is our pride.
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him…” (Phil. 3:8-9).
Though purchases are necessary and can bring moments of pleasure and joy, I must continue to remind myself (and all of you please hold me accountable) that the material possessions the world offers are rubbish when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Jesus and being found in Him.
My soul is so grateful that God saw me as a worthy purchase and paid the absolute highest price so that I would be forever His.