An opening question we pondered this morning as we started our day was, “If our citizenship is in heaven, then why do we still want the things of this world?”
Good question. I think it’s got a lot to do with our stomachs. And I think it has a lot to do with shiny things.
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul writes that we will be lovers of ourselves and of money. Essentially, we like things. We like shiny things.
Think about it: money drives us, doesn’t it? We think, “I need money so that I can have/get ___.” Or, “If I had money, I could ___.” Or, even more basic than that, we see something that we want, maybe even something somewhat beneficial, and the thought process goes like this:
I want that.
To get that, I need money.
To get money, I need to do this.
If I do this, then I can have that.
We are lovers of ourselves when we put our own desires above the needs of God. We are lovers of ourselves when we strive to satisfy ourselves more than we try to satisfy others. And that happens because our stomach grumbles. Our appetites magnify. They get louder.
Our appetites for love, sex, money, “stuff,” power, self-worth end up becoming a “stomach” that needs feeding.
Andy Stanley says, “Your appetites will either rule you or will be ruled by you.”
That’s the problem: at times, our god is our stomach. Our controlling factor, what drives us, ends up being what we crave. Our preoccupation with “stuff” drives you and drives me to wasting time and energy and attention on things that ultimately don’t matter in the end. This preoccupation, then, can destroy our lives, our families, our relationships.
Our predesigned need for love can propel us to satisfy our “stomach/appetite” by looking for love in all the wrong places, which in turn can destroy any hope for real love.
Our predesigned need for acceptance can lead us to commit actions that we’ll regret, that are atypical of our normal character, and which will eventually ruin our integrity.
Our predesigned need for “stuff” can lead us to gambling our paychecks, our hopes, and our very lives away.
And it all starts with “shiny things.” Something sparkles and shines and catches your eye. Or the aroma of some food cooking fills the room and stimulates your senses, causing you to salivate. Or that person looks at you with just the right look, and beckons you to just say “hi.”
What shiny things are you struggling with? What shiny things seem to have a large control over your pocketbook, time, or attention?