“And other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it, and choked it out.” (Luke 8:7)
During our first two years of marriage, when my husband was playing pro-ball, we enjoyed what he refers to as a “brief cup of coffee” in the big leagues. I was amazed at how many similarities—and differences—there were between life in the majors and the minors! Mostly, I was amazed at some of the changes I saw happening in myself during our very short stay at the highest level of the game.
I remember so vividly a trip I took to the mall after we’d been up for a few weeks. I came home and laid out my purchases across our bed, shocked at how little of the comforter could be seen through the many bags resulting from my afternoon excursion! Now don’t get me wrong, I still love to shop. And I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that—when the heart is right. And in this case, I knew that mine definitely was not.
I was intimidated by the appearance of the ladies in the wives’ section—their clothes, shoes, and bags. I’d never seen a group so well put-together, and never felt so frumpy and out of style myself. I thought that if I only could measure up in the fashion arena, then I would fit in.
I was letting the riches of this world distract me, pulling me away from what really mattered—my security in the Lord alone and having my heart willing and ready to share Him with others.
I realize that materialism is not a popular topic to discuss today, just as I’m sure it wasn’t in Jesus’ day either. But I am so glad that He did see fit to address the issue and give us wise counsel regarding its dangers. In the parable of the sower, Jesus talks to a large crowd about a farmer who sows seeds that lands in four different locations: a path, among rocks, among thorns, and on good soil. He later explains to His disciples that the seed represents the Word of God, and the seed that fell among thorns represents those who hear the Word of God but are then “choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature” (v. 14). The material blessing that baseball brings to so many can most certainly be used for good - to bring honor to God and to bless others.
But what a wonderful reminder, too, that life’s riches can easily choke us, keeping us from the maturity God desires for each one of us as we grow in our walk with Him. When material things are our focus, it naturally takes our eyes off of the Lord and what is truly important. Let’s make it our goal to be that “good soil” which produces a bountiful crop, keeping our hearts—and shopping sprees!—sensitive to the Lord’s leading and conviction!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving us enough to speak truth into all areas of our lives, even if it’s not necessarily what we want to hear! Help us to surrender all areas of our hearts and lives to your leadership every day.
Suggested Reading: Luke 8:1-15