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Women Living Well Blog: Do Not Pursue Stuff - Pursue God

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, March 30, 2009

Do Not Pursue Stuff - Pursue God

So I was at Target last night. I didn't go there to shop, but to find a table to sit at and do my Bible study while my children were in Sunday evening church. As I sat there studying the book of Ecclesiastes I found it ironic that I could hear the non-stop beep beep beep beep sound of things being rang up at the cash register!

Ecclesiastes is written by the wisest man to ever live - King Solomon. King Solomon was also known for his immense amount of wealth and his extravagant palace. In chapter one he sits back and evaluates all he has and says, "Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless! Everything is Meaningless!"

Beep Beep Beep Beep - go the cash registers.

In chapter 5 King Solomon continues, "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them."

I get up from my seat to get a refill on my drink - the lines have grown quite long - beep beep beep beep - the cash registers all play in unison.

"And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them. The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep."

I look out the window and watch as men, women, young and old walk out of the store with overflowing carts - beep beep beep beep - the people continue to flood in through the doors.

Who am I to judge I think? I can see one mother with a baby carrier and diapers. Those certainly are necessary. Who am I to judge? I see another family carrying a bag - the bag is clear and I can see the letters W - i - i . What a blessing - their family now has a Wii - I bet those children are going to have a ball when they get home!!!

Oh what a blessed nation we are!!! Or are we? Have we realized that this is all meaningless? Have we realized how much work we have made for ourselves trying to organize all of our STUFF! We buy bins, shelves, hooks, baskets, etc. just to try to manage all of this stuff!

I sit back in my chair and just ponder for a minute - and the noise of the beep beep beep beep sound has grown terribly distracting and annoying! I cross reference over to Proverbs and read chapter 23:5. "Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky line an eagle."

Are riches stable? I think about what is happening on Wall Street and Main Street and in our Capital right now. For many, their life savings or retirement just grew wings in the last month and flew away. So many have lost so much! All that hard work and labor - gone... meaningless.

Beep Beep Beep Beep - the registers continue their song.

What do we do? The book of Ecclesiastes comes to a close with 3 conclusions. Chapter 12 tells us: 1.) "Fear God" 2.) "Keep God's commandments" and 3) be prepared for judgement day because "God will bring every deed into judgment including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

I read a challenge on another blog that I want to bring to you - I challenge you to try to use every single thing you own in your house this month! What? Did you just say - "It's not possible." Me too. What are we teaching our children? Are we fearing God and keeping his commands in America? Are we ready for judgment day?

Beep beep beep beep - the registers continue to sing their chorus. I sense the Holy Spirit urging me - do not pursue stuff - pursue God.

Walk with the King,

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Blogger Clare said...

AMEN sister!!!!!! The book of Ecclesiastes has helped me re-work my focus MANY times through my Christian walk.

March 30, 2009 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger liz young said...

what an interesting topic for me as mike and i have recently started meeting with a financial advisor- i told the man at the beginning as we were handing over some of our 'personal' papers for him to evaluate our financal situation that its like when people have talked about putting your life on the big screen at church for everyone to see everything you think and say and do. someone is about to tell me how well- or how bad we are doing financially...
thanks for reminding me that everything is meaningless, and if we continue pursuing God with our lives and finances He will bless us, but more importantly we will have peace.

March 30, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Thank you...I really needed to read this. What a blessing you are to so many.

March 30, 2009 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Goodmorning girls!!! Wow - I barely had the post up and here you three came! Yes - Ecclesiastes is powerful and convicting! I need to memorize more verses from this book of the Bible. And Liz - so true about being exposed with your financial planner. One day we will be completely exposed before the throne of God - I want to be prepared!!! Press on!

March 30, 2009 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

What a GREAT post- so true. I often think that all this stuff that we feel gives us freedom or value in some way is keeping us in bondage, and we don't even realize it! Since we've been working through "Celebration of Discipline," the chapter on Simplicity made me want to clean out half our stuff and purge! :)

March 30, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Kelly L said...

Courtney this is so true! Thank you for the reminder!

March 30, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Regina Coblentz said...

Thanks for sharing this. There are days where I go to the basement and see "stuff" in boxes. I have gone through them but I realize I still did not get rid of enough stuff. Time to go through them again.
It's so easy to think, "But one day, I might want to use this again." That one day just doesn't come.
Thanks again!!

March 30, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I echo everything everyone has shared Courtney! We have a small place and 7 people, but I know we have more than we need! We too have too much stuff and realize that the more you have the more time it takes to "manage" it all... may we all hold loosely to things that are fleeting! After going to a third world country I think it changed our perspective for ever!! We would much rather do "stuff" than own "stuff"... if we're not careful it can feel like our "stuff" owns us! I also appreciated your closet clean out post. I like Kristen's (oops I mean annonymous) comment about if you didn't use/wear it that year get rid of it! Maybe we should all have a huge rummage/swap day?? One rule would be you have to go home with less than you brought!!! :-)

March 30, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger June said...

Nice to meet you. I saw your link up at the well. Please come back and join in our discussion.


March 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Isn't interesting that we so often equate material "stuff" with blessing?? (like that Wii) I really enjoyed your post today - which I found from "The Well"....thanks for sharing your thoughts.

March 30, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

I think pursuing God is one of the highest forms of praise we can give Him. Although the things of this earth can be a blessing, they can sprout wings and be gone in an instant, human life included. I love your Walk with the King signature! Great post!

March 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger shopannies said...

Tell it like it is and I accept the challenge that you have given I will let you know how it works

March 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

So True Courtney! I am guilty so many times of seeking more "thing", instead of seeking God,...and God alone.

I am having a party tonight and rushing around to get everything ready. If I didn't have so many things, life would be easier.

Thanks for the reminder.
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

March 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Raye Ann said...

I love your picture you have painted. I used to one of the ones with the full shopping cart. As a recovering Shop-a-holic I found your post as a great reminder to only put what is a true necessity in my cart. All that stuff creates great debt and can hinder what you can do for God.

Blessings Always

March 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Joyfull said...

What a great post, encouraging us to evaluate what is most important.

March 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

I loved this post and how God gave you such a great analogy with the beep beep beep.

I can't imagine using everything in my house once during the next 30 days. YIKES!

beep beep beep


March 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Here today, gone tomorrow! Stuff is stuff and the only things that will last forever are those treasures we lay up in heaven.

Thanks for joining us today At the Well.


March 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

what a powerful devotional and filled with God's truth!!

March 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Thorn said...

These have been things I have been wrestling with as well. Thank you for sharing. As Americans we tend to do whatever it takes to get the "suff". It reminds me of what Doug Phillips said, "The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing; but in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings. Something is wrong with this picture."
Isn't it sad that people often times say that they can't afford children, but they always find ways to get more things.
So much to think about, thanks you!

March 30, 2009 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Olson said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I was checking some blogs right before I begin my waitressing shift at a local bar and grill. My husband and I have been trying to make things work with our bills but also wanting to seek God's will for our finances.

I am working 3 jobs, my husband works one because he has a bad back.

I really appreciate your blog and the way you write is easy to understand. I do not get much time online but I value those that have the talent to write.

BLess you

April 3, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Another amazing post. We are society ran on stuff...meaningless stuff.

I live in a small one bedroom apartment with my husband and even though we don't have much space it still seems impossible to use everything we own in one month. What a reality check!

January 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

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