As I worked around a previous job one day, I heard two of the workers there having a discussion. The discussion centered on their lives and the new “gadgets” they’d recently acquired. One of the ladies boasted about the new Mercedes Benz she’d gotten a week earlier; the other about the Lexus she’d gotten some time ago.
“There are all kinds of features on the car that I’m still learning to work,” said the lady who owns the Mercedes Benz.
“My Lexus is like that, too,” the other lady chimed in.
“It’s so nice,” said the Benz owner. “But I have to go back to the dealer today because the key has stopped working. I think it needs to be reprogrammed.”
She then continued to rave about how much she loved the car. The one downfall, according to her, is the car’s color, a choosing of her husband. “It’s the same color as my other car (that she’d traded),” she said. “Now no one will know that I even have a new car, since it looks so much like my other car.”
“Really?!” I thought. “Is that what’s important?” #Vanity
In that moment, I thanked God profusely for removing meaningless desires from me. And later, when the women started talking about their luxurious trips (to Europe, Costa Rica, etc.) and the cost of them, I thanked Him even more.
Why did I thank God the way that I did for these things?
Well, because there was a time in my life when I desired (and even acquired) the “finer” things of life, like luxurious cars and luxurious trips to Paris (no, I’ve never been to Paris). But once I got into a real relationship with God, and He began to shape my heart and align my desires with His, those things that I once longed for became of no value to me, and I began to understand the words of Solomon—the writer of Ecclesiastes.
In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says, “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ But that also proved to be meaningless” (verse 1). He goes on to explain the things he did in order bring pleasure to himself: he built houses and planted vineyards; he made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them; he made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees; he bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in his house; he owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before him; he amassed silver and gold for himself; he acquired male and female singers, and a harem—the delights of a man’s heart; he became greater than anyone in Jerusalem before him. Overall, Solomon denied himself nothing his eyes desired; he refused himself no pleasure. Yet, when he surveyed all that his hands had done and what he had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Like Solomon, I, too, have lived and acquired (as I’ve said) many things; yet, for a long time, my life was unfulfilled, and the voids I tried to mask with things, remained. It was only when I gave God my life, and allowed Him to be Lord of my life, that the voids began to close and fulfillment no longer evaded me. I no longer needed (and still don’t need) the best attire to make me feel good; a heap of money in my account to make me feel like I’m “somebody”; or a fine car to show the world that I’ve “arrived.” All of those things are meaningless to me now, because my hope rests solely on Christ and the eternal reward that awaits me when He returns for me, and not on anything that this world can offer me.
Each of us, as Christian women, should desire the things of God more than we desire the things of this world. It’d be a pity for us to gain everything in this world, and die only to find out that we have nothing (no rewards) awaiting us in the next, because we were driven to accumulate “treasure” down here.
That said, sisters, if you’ve found yourself vying for the things of this world and attempting to fulfill yourselves in them, confess your fault to God, repent, and allow Him to change your heart.
As God’s daughters, we aren’t to pattern our lives after this world, but we are to pattern it after God’s Word, in preparation for the next world. Therefore, let us follow the wisdom of Solomon. Let us “fear God and keep His commandments,” for this is our duty. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).