Solomon, the son of David, was known during 900 BC, to be the wisest and richest man on earth. Upon becoming King, God told Solomon that He would give him anything in the world he requested. King Solomon requested a discerning heart – wisdom, by which he could govern his people. God granted his request. Pleased with Solomon’s selfless request, God also promised to give him more riches and honor than any other King in his lifetime.
Over time, Solomon amassed a great fortune comprised of gold, silver, royal garments, animals, furnishings, concubines and more. Solomon had it all – the good life. Yet for all the wealth, intellect and power he possessed, he was extremely unhappy. He worked hard and played hard, enjoying the pleasures of life. Unfortunately, no matter what he did or how much he acquired, Solomon failed to find any fulfillment in life. “Everything I wanted I took – I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task – my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!” ~Ecclesiastes 2:10-11(MSG)
Like Solomon, we often try to surround ourselves with ‘stuff’ to find fulfillment. Large assortments of clothes, purses or shoes are just some of the items we seek to find enjoyment in. For some, it may be larger ticket items, such as name brands and multiple cars. But in six months, after the novelty is gone, we’re left with bills to pay and an eye on more things to purchase. We tell ourselves that we ‘deserve these things’ because of our efforts, but like Solomon, you derive little, if any, pleasure.
God doesn’t mind that we have stuff, as He is the one that blesses us with it. What He does mind is when the stuff owns us. These items become our idol, our God, which displeases God tremendously. Like Solomon, surrounding ourselves with stuff often masks an unmet need, feelings of emptiness or emotional pain. Acquiring stuff gives us a burst of instant gratification, which quickly wears off.
Toward the end of his life, Solomon describes life as meaningless and empty. He realizes that stuff doesn’t bring lasting happiness. He realizes life without God is meaningless and laments over the mistakes he’s made in his life.
Solomon learned many lessons during his lifetime, including the importance of keeping a vow made to God. It is better not to make a vow than to make a vow and break it. He also learned that it is not good to hoard things. You should be generous, investing in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. We should aim to be a blessing to others, since tomorrow is not promised. ~Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 (MSG).
King Solomon’s last and final words in the book of Ecclesiastes were: “Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
So the next time you have an urge to buy a pair of ‘must have’ designer shoes, ask yourself, do I really need another pair of shoes? Is my life going to be more fulfilled if I buy these shoes? If the answer is no, put your wallet back in your purse and go home. Donate the money you were going to spend on the shoes to your favorite charity. Now that’s something you can feel good about.