Monday, August 21, 2006

Exchanging Gold

by Donna L. Watkins

Have you ever thought about the gifts given to Jesus? Matthew 2:2 says they were gold, frankincense and myrrh. All three of them came from the earth that God created. All three were natural products.

If you've studied essential oils you will know that frankincense and myrrh have some wonderful properties and are very uplifting and healing. Essential oils provided the perfumes of Bible times and they are coming back to popularity in these days when people are beginning to realize the effects of spraying and rubbing chemicals all over their bodies.

Gold is a necessity for economics. We need a medium of exchange to purchase the supplies we need to live. We work for money so we can exchange it for the things we need to survive. Food, shelter, water, heat, transportation and the list goes on and has been made very long by the demands of advertising. Who would've thought that we would be living our lives based on one-minute ads flashed before our eyes on television or in a magazine.

We have become slaves to what corporations want us to buy. Luxuries have been made to be thought of as needs and without them we are told we are not worth much. The status symbols of today have replaced the thoughts that God wants in our hearts. The words recorded in Scripture, told to us for our own benefit so that we would not be deceived. However, it seems chasing after all the status symbols has prevented many from having time to spend in God's Word.

Peace, joy, contentment and love for our neighbors are not commonly seen among most Christians these days. Take notice for a few days as you go about your daily living, how many people do you see that exude peace and joy? How many people are walking the pace of Jesus and not that of the world's demands? Are you taking time for your neighbors? Are you taking time for relationships? How much of what you do has lasting value?

It's so easy to just keep keeping on. Keep on moving, keep on doing, getting, wanting more. Where does it end? Where do we find contentment? How much is enough?

One definition of contentment is:

Contentment is realizing that God has already provided everything I need for my present and future happiness. The secret of contentment is enjoying the presence of the Lord.

Do we enjoy His presence or are we seeking after the presence of more stuff in our homes and lives. How much have we been deceived? What are we spending our "bought with a price" lives on? What heritage are we leaving our children? In a lifestyle of heavy debt, what will we leave behind for our children and grandchildren if we are focusing on having things that we have to go into debt to buy.

The average American credit card debt continues to grow at a record pace. According to, Americans owe $2 trillion in non-mortgage debt; this equals about $19,000 per household. The numbers are staggering. Most of the things being charged will be tossed away, broken or replaced before they are even paid. When we expect from possession what only God can give, they become idols.

What does contentment feel like? Maybe we need to refocus on what life is truly all about and begin to teach those around us more about living on less. You might enjoy one of our other websites, The Frugal Life, for some tips and articles. There's also a forum where you can post questions and a free email newsletter.

Begin today to slow life down. It's not about how much gold you exchange. Seek to walk at the same pace as Jesus. God never intended for us to run ourselves ragged. We were created to fellowship with Him. Make life more simple. Reduce your list of needs. Find others who are living this lifestyle and develop relationships. In the end it will be people, not things, that really made your life's best memories. It's a choice and a goal you can attain.

"The chief end of man is to know God and to enjoy Him forever." -- Westminster Shorter Catechism

Father, help me right now to see a way out of the mess I've made in my daily lifestyle. Help me to focus more on you and less on things. Help me to find a way to redesign my life according to the pace of Jesus. This is my desire but I have long been in the race for all the things the world tells me I need. I desire to worship You and You only. Help me out of this, Lord, and surround me with people that will support me. Show me and direct me on this new path I am choosing today. Amen.

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