June 16, 2020 Issue #171
Don't believe the false promise of materialism
We've all done it, myself included. We've all thought if only we had somebody or something, our life would be perfect. I have even prayed that God would give me that somebody or something.
Fortunately for me, God is especially wise when I'm especially dumb.
This month's Inspire-O-Gram looks at the false promise of materialism. It permeates our culture like dye soaks into cloth. Whether you're a Christian or not, you have been influenced by it. In a nutshell, the implication is that if you have enough stuff or the correct stuff, you'll be happy.
Don't you believe it!
This message is even being preached by some very popular TV pastors. What's the truth?
Be discerning. Take a few minutes right now to explore the promise of materialism.
If I only had
If I only had that gadget,
the one that's on TV.
It would make me really happy,
'Cause that's their guarantee.
If I only had designer clothes
with top expensive labels,
I'd get respect that I deserve.
That would really turn the tables.
If I only I had that sexy car,
I'd drive where I'd be seen.
I know I'd feel like royalty
And turn the people green.
If I only I had a mansion,
That would surely be the best.
Then all my friends and family
Would be so darn impressed.
If I only I had that someone
to fix my self-esteem.
We'd stroll together arm-in-arm
and life would be a dream.
But the truth is you can't fix your life
with any of those things.
The answer that you're looking for
is Jesus, King of Kings.
Only Jesus makes life right;
He is the missing part.
Only he can fill the empty space
you have inside your heart.
Jack Zavada, www.inspiration-for-singles.com, 2020 ~
Eventually you'll learn everything in this book,
A couple years ago, I compiled everything I had discovered about the single life and wrote Hope for Hurting Singles.
but it may take you 45 years
I'm a relatively intelligent guy, but I learned most of the truths in this book by trial and error. While I was maturing in the single life, there was no book like this. Now you will eventually learn everything I figured out too, but it may take you 45 years to do it.
Or you could just buy a copy of Hope for Hurting Singles and learn it in about two weeks.
45 years or two weeks. Hmmm.
I couldn't write a book about how to find a spouse and get married because I have never done that. But I could share how I dealt with common problems every single faces. You'll learn what to do and what not to do.
loneliness. You can read that entire chapter f'ree, right here as a sample.
Here are some of the other pain-saving things you'll find out:
- The 3 best ways to beat loneliness. (p. 6-27)
- Whose approval matters most. (p. 33)
- The hardest part of the Christian life. (p.51)
- The real truth about your past. (p. 93)
- The key to a great retirement. (p. 141)
- The biggest myth about faith. (p. 155)
- The true goal of every Christian. (p.186)
The paperback edition is $10.99 and the Kindle version is $3.99.
Spurgeon is our June QOTM man
Famed British preacher and author Charles Haddon Spurgeon delivers June's Quote of the Month:
Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon (1834 - 1892) ~
I'm sure Spurgeon didn't believe his wife and twin sons were empty, but even in a life as accomplished as his, a perceptive person cannot escape disillusionment with the world. You and I both have felt that way at times.
God cuts through the meaninglessness of life like a laser. He is the source of hope, truth, and purpose. When I am downhearted, I fasten my attention on Jesus Christ, the God who died for me.
Nobody could make up a God whose very nature is love. What a precious Father we have who loves us not because he can, but because he wants to.
Whose definition of success runs your life?
Consciously or not, we each choose a definition of success and make it our own. Now is a good time to ask yourself, "Where did I get my idea of success?"
Maybe it came from observing your parents or a boss or mentor. Maybe, in your ethnic culture, you're considered a success when you achieve certain milestones.
But what if success, real, true, deep-down success, is very different from what you've always been taught? What if success is so different from what you see around you that you can't even recognize it?
Think, for a moment, about your opinion of the most successful person who ever lived. Did they accumulate more money than anyone else? Did they set sports records that will never be broken? Do they have millions of followers on Twitter or Facebook?
Thinking as a Christian, I believe the most successful person who ever lived is Jesus Christ. He is the only person who followed God's will for his life perfectly. He wasn't interested in fame
or money, and in fact warned us about those things.
You and I can't be another Jesus because he was the Son of God and came to Earth for the specific purpose of saving people from their sins. We don't need another Savior, but we do need people to carry on Jesus' work of healing, comforting, helping the poor, and bringing others into the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you've ever wondered about what really matters in life, consider this definition of success.
When the mask comes off, who will you be?
Someday this pandemic will be over and we'll each be able to shed our mask. But many singles are wearing another type of mask, a protective face they show to the world every day, a disguise they use to put up a front.
These past few months of stay-at-home have given all of us the opportunity to think deeply about what truly matters in life. I think millions of people have found that what counts is not more stuff, but better relationships.
When we get back into the world, we can appreciate each other more. We can be kinder. We can observe the Golden Rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12, ESV)
Each of us can remove our false mask and be an authentic person. That doesn't mean we give everybody a piece of our mind and jump on their mistakes. It means we act like people of integrity who live by high standards.
During the riots and peaceful protests of the past few weeks, we've seen stunning examples of both selfishness and sacrifice. We each have to ask, "What kind of person do I want to be?" Christians are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
If you'd like to take a minute to write me an email about this newsletter, it will go directly to my personal inbox when you use the site's secure contact form.
As always, it's a privilege for me to come into your home and share my thoughts and experiences. I hope you find these newsletters helpful. Thank you for being an Inspire-O-Gram subscriber.
Time to start working on the July
issue! Have a safe and peaceful summer.