A couple of months ago my son came to me asking to buy a small skateboard. He had found one online that he thought was so cool-looking that he just had to have it. But the problem is, there is nowhere to ride a skateboard where we live. I tried to talk him out of it, but it was his own money and he insisted that he needed it. He hounded me incessantly for days until I caved in and bought the thing.
Three days later it showed up in the mail. I’m not exaggerating when I say it wasn’t even five minutes after it was out of the package when he asked, “Hey dad, how much do you think I could sell it for on eBay?”
“What?” I asked incredulously. “Why?”
Now that the penny board was in his hands, it wasn’t as cool as he thought, and the realization that there was nowhere to ride it had finally set in.
“Didn’t we just go over this three days ago?”
It seems he was so blinded by his desire to own that board, that he ignored all sense of reason to get his hands on it.
I couldn’t really pick on him over it. Adults do the same thing.We even have a name for it. It’s called “buyer’s remorse.” I have a friend who recently bought a brand new car which he had wanted for some time. It’s actually a neat little car, with all kinds of cool accessories. But after owning it for not very long, he admitted that it was a huge mistake. It’s really tiny compared to his SUV, he’s spending more on payments than he is saving on gas mileage, the ride is hard and bumpy, and it doesn’t feel safe riding in such a small car. He regretted buying it.
There’s the story of Amnon in the Old Testament, a guy who desired a woman he was forbidden to have. Day after day he thought of her and ached for her, to the point where he was even losing weight in his distress, until one day he schemed up a way to have her, and he ended up forcing himself on her. As soon as he had had her, however, his lust turned to hatred and he hated her even more than he had loved her before, and he thrust her out. You can read about it in 2 Samuel 13.
Whether it’s some new gadget, a new toy, a new car, a house, a person, a certain amount of wealth, or whatever else men can desire, we have all fallen into the trap of covetousness. In all three examples above, and perhaps one or more in your own life, giving way to covetousness sets a course in the mind that elevates the object of our affection on some lovely and attractive pedestal, while blinding us to the negative consequences of its fulfillment. Only after our hunger has been satisfied does reason set in, and that thing is seen for what it is. Unsatisfying and unfulfilling.
How many times have you longed for someone or something for so long, but when you finally did all that was necessary to have it, it wasn’t as great as you thought? Have you ever strived for something only to regret it?
Jesus taught to, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
I don’t know about you, but I have never found any lasting satisfaction or fulfillment in pleasure or material things. It’s always been the lie of Satan that you will find happiness or contentment in anything or anyone other than the Lord.
Don’t be fooled by the allure and false promises of riches or possessions. The ultimate source of meaning, purpose, identity, fulfillment, and joy is found in knowing and having peace with God.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”