Friday, February 22, 2013

Choose What Lasts by Martin Wiles

Flea markets. Jockey lots. Places where vendors gather to sell or barter their wares which may be high quality merchandise…or more likely cheap imitations.

Since my wife and I are always searching for personal treasures or ones to re-sell, we occasionally take a stroll down the long cement walkway and gaze at the riches idling at our local flea market. Those selling often think more of them than they should…or that they have treasures when they don’t. Out of date bread and pastries, cheaply made yard implements, and imitation collectibles abound. And though we periodically purchase items, we normally visit a local retailer when we want something that will last.

Paul wants his young son in the faith to make an equally wise choice among the many available. You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times (II Timothy 3:1-2 NLT). Selfishness, money hunger, ungratefulness, disobedience, unforgiveness, lack of self-control, betrayal, recklessness, pride, pleasure seeking, and rejection of religion will all be in the mix. His advice to Timothy is, You must stay away from people like that (v. 5 NLT).

Paul’s laundry list could be a present day directory. I’ve been known to occasionally choose what quickly deteriorates and brings disappointment to God and others, but God is teaching me to make better selections. Godly things last and satisfy: spiritual friends, uplifting books, God-led decisions, frequent prayers, selfless living, and wise counsel.

Foolish things wear out like an inexpensively made item or a beautiful imitation…misplaced priorities, selfishness, befriending those who drag me down emotionally and spiritually, neglecting time with God, and making life a mad pursuit about me. God can enable us to choose things in life that will outlast time. All he requires is that we ask.

Prayer: Father, we confess our frequent mistake of selecting things that disappoint You and us. Give us divine wisdom that we might choose attitudes, relationships, and possessions that honor You.

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