by Joel Lawler
We are hit with thousands of messages a day. We are told we need more money, a better car, a bigger house, to be skinnier, to have washboard abs, thick silky hair, clear skin, to look young…. We are hit from every angle about things we need and our personal shortcomings. Of course there is a cure for these problems and for three simple payments of $19.95 we can have a perfect life.
Does this sound about right? A disheveled person comes on the tv screen. They are unhappy to the point of being depressed. They are alone, abandoned. All hope is lost. They are stuck in the drudgery of merely surviving. Sad music plays. Then all of a sudden the clouds break. Happy music plays. Product X descends from the sky with the sound of angels singing. The person takes the product in their hand. They are happy. They are thin. They look young and healthy. They are surrounded by beautiful shiny happy people. All is right in their world. All they needed was Product X. Their life now has meaning and purpose. That is until Product X version 2.0 comes out.
It sounds so ridiculous, but this story plays out over and over again. Why? It is the proven formula to separate us from our money. What is even more shocking is that most of the time, these sales pitches separates us from money we don't even have. We put Product X on a credit card or we use the 12 months same as cash option to buy Product X. By the time we have paid off the original Product X, they are on version Product X 10. Oh, and Product X is no longer the cure all. Product Z is. Product Z replaced Product Y last year. Product Y blew away Product X right around Christmas time the year before. You have to keep up. Come on now. Your happiness, health, appearance and social status hangs on having the latest and greatest. It never ends. We never reach the end of story with all the shiny happy people dancing around us celebrating our wonderful existence thanks to the stuff that we mortgaged.
There is a commercial that shows a bunch of depressed people and one poor depressed dog. The people take some pills. They are happy. Rover, the dog, must have found one of the pills on the floor and eaten it because at the end of the commercial, he looks happy and ready to go chase some squirrels.
In Philippians 4, Paul writes: "Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!"
God is near!
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (The Message)
Put your hope in God, the creator who knew you before you were born. He designed you. Put your faith in the one who loves you more than you can imagine. Product X will fade away but God is ever faithful and everlasting. He is all you need.