Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? [Isaiah 55]
How much of my money do I spend on things that do not nourish me, or anyone else for that matter? Bread in the literal sense, and in the necessities-of-life figurative sense, is anything that is required to support a healthy and holy life. Those things that sustain body, heart, mind, and soul are bread. A quick review of recent receipts and my finances overall confirms what I don’t like to admit: I spend quite a bit of money on things that subtract from my life more than they add to it.
How much of my time, talent, and effort do I give over to attaining or experiencing things that do not and cannot satisfy me or anyone else? It’s not just money I’ve spent on things that lessen my life and the life of the world: the time I’ve devoted to meaningless things can’t be retrieved. The energy I’ve given to feeding anger or resentment isn’t recyclable. I’m kidding myself if I think having one more possession or obsession beyond the food/clothing/shelter basics is going to satisfy my longing for a good and holy life.
The bad news: I can’t earn or buy a good and holy life by spending my limited time and money on additional and unnecessary things.
The good news: I don’t need to buy with my money and life’s time a good and holy life. God grants that gift freely. Once I accept this as the gospel truth, I can devote my inner and outer resources to the bread that feeds this beloved world.
[For more on this series, click Isaiah 55 above.]