“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-8
Wow. Of all the wisdom to read in the Scripture, why should I read this now?
February is a month of End Season Sale here in Saudi. And unlike in the Philippines, sale here is really huge. It’s a 75% off Buy 1 Take 1 Promotion at very good brands. I say this to give you an idea how tough it is not to fall for that kind of deal.
So there we were, my friend and I, chatting when would be our next visit to the mall to buy more things. I was so excited about this, I kept thinking what to buy next, when to wear the things I bought, who else to buy for gifts and pasalubong. And so, mindlessly (because my mind was on the sale), I typed Grace to You in Firefox and started checking on what preaching of John MacArthur I can download to listen while chatting (imagine?). I made a quick choice and effortlessly clicked on the “4 Marks of the Man of God”.
And there it was, the preaching stressed that a Man of God must flee from “foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction”. John MacArthur (of GTY) even said “…but flee from these things… from what? From the love of money and all the attendant corruptions that come with it.” He also added “You don't ever want to get caught into all of the temptations and traps… that go along with materialism...loving money produces all kinds of evil. It's not just the evil of loving money, it's all the evil that goes with being preoccupied with the material, the physical.”
At first, I was asking myself, was it really all about the money I spent to buy all these? (Believe me, it’s not much). I just get to buy these brands every sale and as far as I know I have always kept track of my expenses.
So what was the compromise, really?
Maybe spending money was a part of it, well that is if I had really spent too much. But I believe I did not. Maybe buying more than what you need might also count. But as I think through, I also bought the things I need (although I have to admit, it’s not in the category of the “strict necessity of mere food, shelter and clothing” level.)
And so I prayed and asked Him, what is this all about God? Teach me what I need to learn.
The thought came through me. Loud and clear. I got caught. I got preoccupied. That was it. I was tempted in a sense that my full mind was into it – going back to the mall, thinking what else do I want to buy, rushing into what I can get, etc. I was devoted to THE sale! I got crazy spending my time with invaluable things, and without knowing, I had myself trapped into these material things. Without knowing it, I was already meditating it instead of the Word!
Maybe you were thinking that it was funny that I got caught with just that. I guess the devil knows my weakness. I really didn’t know at first. There was the gut feeling but I kept saying to myself no way is this a sin.
But then the Lord reminded me through His Word.
What about you? What have you been so preoccupied lately?