“And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy (pleasure); for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion (reward) of all my labour.” Ecclesiastes 2:10
When I first got married, I wanted to have all the things others had. In the beginning, I was thrilled to just have a home, but my desires grew and I wanted what the neighbors had and everything else my eyes beheld. I would often stroll into the local Best Buy on my days off in search of the newest and best things. I had a nice TV set, but I would always go and browse the latest models. I was always in search of a bigger TV complete with all the bells and whistles - although there was no high definition in those days and the televisions were still pretty big and bulky.
Due to my Best Buy obsession, I convinced myself I was in need of a new TV so I bought one. I had devised a plan to give my old set to my pastor who did not have a TV in order to make room for my new set. I rehearsed this story in my head several times so that I could explain my rationale to Rebekah after the fact. Rebekah listened to my story but did not buy any of it, although she did not get upset with me. I was enticed by the no-interest financing, and I had a plan to pay it off, although I don’t believe Dan Ramsey would approve.
Not surprisingly, my financial plan was not successful as I soon bought other things on my no-interest financing plan as I continued to frequent my favorite store. The total came due at the end of the financing period, and the 0% interest turned into accrued interest that was not part of my plan. I wish I could say that I only did this at Best Buy, but my desires continued to exceed my salary, and I soon found myself buried under a pile of debt. I bought everything my heart desired, and that did not satisfy me nor did it make my life better. I felt foolish for satisfying my desires, which sadly did not really satisfy. I practiced no self-control, and I had a pile of bills to show for it.
God led us to a church that offered a financial training class, which prompted us to take steps to get out of debt. It was a long road, but I praise God for bringing us to that church and allowing us to go through the program. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” If you feed your heart the desires of your eyes, it will soon lead you down a road you never intended to go on. You will soon face the consequences of pursuing things that will never satisfy instead of pursuing the only One who can bring eternal satisfaction. The possession of a larger television did little to bring me closer to God, but time spent with Him brought me joy and satisfaction like nothing else could. Solomon records for us later in Ecclesiastes that he found no satisfaction in anything this world offered.
Where are you today friend? Do you have self-control in pursuing the things of this world? Do you get lured into the traps of “no-interest financing”? Do you desire the things of God or do you desire the things which your eyes can see? There is nothing wrong with things, but they must not take a strong hold in our life. Solomon strayed from God because he sought to fill himself with the treasures of this world. May we practice self-control in pursuing the things of this world, and may our focus be on the only One who can truly satisfy.
Stay in the fight!