Cast your mind way back to primary school. That favourite playground activity: trading things. Especially things that didn't quite balance out. Ever swapped out a shiny collector's card/ pack of lollies for someone's promise of lifelong friendship?
Those days are behind us, right? Well, maybe not. We may still be tempted to put God to one side and choose something else. We might be more prone to cheap trade-offs that are reminiscent of our school days than we'd first think.
The story of Jacob and Esau (check Genesis 25) highlights this pretty well. After a day's work hunting, Esau wasn't feeling too perky and his feelings were getting the better of him. Then what? Well, his brother Jacob had exactly what he was after: food. 'What good is the birthright to me' (Genesis 25:32)? (Note: a birthright was pretty important. Essentially the right to gain the family inheritance.) And in return? 'Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew' (Genesis 25:34).
Bread and stew for the family inheritance! Wow. Perhaps a worse deal than we can see ourselves making. But the question is, how often do we swap out God's promises of something much better for a cheap, short-lived pleasure? Answer: probably a lot. It's probably worth a thought-process before making decisions.
So what now? 'Why do I want this?' 'Why am I doing this?' These are handy questions to ask of anything that might distract or tempt you. It'll also help you to identify the things of real worth and value them enough not to swap them.
Soulfood : Jer 25-27, Luke 23:1-12, Ps 72:1-11, Prov 9:1-6