I do not like to spend a ton of money on things. I'm a bargain shopper, and luckily for me, I married one. There are several things I have picked up over the years from stores like Dirt Cheap, Bargain Hunt, and Goodwill. Thrift stores are usually pretty good at having something that will work at a price that will work for you. I'm just as happy with the things that I buy at the thrift stores as I would be if I had bought them new at a department store.
The problem is that we try to take this same approach to life. We try to find the thing that requires the least of us. We want control. We want to decide if it's worth the cost. Listen to the words of C. S. Lewis:
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. (C. S. Lewis. "The Weight of Glory," in The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. 26.)
The point that Lewis makes here is that we are far to easily satisfied with the cheap things of this world. This past Sunday morning we looked at the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at a well. She had been searching all her life for satisfaction and love, and she was looking for it in men. She had been married five times and was now living with a man that she wasn't married to when she met Jesus. He told her that He had living water that He could give her and she would never thirst again. Jesus' point was that He can and will satisfy all of her deepest needs if she takes what He has to offer. Back to Lewis' point, we often will take cheap things and pay for them over and over again, so we can keep some of our possessions for other things. Lewis compared this to wanting to play with mud pies in the slum, when we have the offer of going to the beach. Who passes on that?
Ultimately Jesus promises to satisfy our deepest needs and give us more than the world ever could. I have learned that while it's good to save money on some things, there are some things you buy authentic at the store like: toilet paper, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, mattresses, pillows, etc... You may, but I don't hold back money from these things. I want quality. With Jesus it is the same way. We give Him our lives, and He gives us a better life. You can't even relate this to a purchase. It's more like a free upgrade to something a million times better. Will we struggle? Yep. Will there be pain? Yep. How is the life He gives us better? It is a life with purpose. It's a life that gets to enjoy every aspect of creation more because you know the creator. It's a life where you know that your heavenly Father loves you no matter what. Even when you mess up big time, He still loves you.
What are some things that we buy in the world that we hope will satisfy us? Why don't they satisfy us? And how does Jesus ultimately fulfill our needs more than they do?