Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
Black Friday is on the way, and we’ve been inundated with ads galore of all of the things we don’t have and probably don’t need. Marketers got very creative when they pitched the idea to Americans of perceived obsolescence. In other words, if people can be tricked into believing that the need the latest and greatest, then they’ll be willing to shell out their cash for an “upgrade” every few years. No longer do we Americans wait for our stuff to break. Instead, we wait for the coolness factor to wear off.
The deceptive nature of stuff is that we can never have enough of it. We’ve all probably fallen prey to the notion of, “If I just get that one little thing, then I’ll never need to buy something again.” Of course, that feeling wears off about 2 seconds after you acquire the product. There’s always a new gadget, toy, or whatever coming out, and advertisers have done a masterful job of help us believe that our happiness is tied to it.
Solomon’s advice on the issue is clear: you will never have enough as long as your source of satisfaction lies in your stuff. You will never make enough money to buy all of the junk you’d like to have. Remember a few years ago when you thought that having a little more money would satisfy you? And now you’re making a little more money, and it’s still not enough? It’s a vicious cycle.
So as Black Friday approaches, remember that you will never find long-term satisfaction in the material goods you purchase. I’m not suggesting boycotting the day or even refusing to buy things ever again. Solomon recommends, though, that we keep our things in their proper perspective.
Father, You are so generous to us. You have given us so much, and yet we still long for more. Help us to find a proper satisfaction with those things You have given us. Keep us from being generous with ourselves but not being generous with You and with others. Let me find joy in finding my satisfaction in You alone.