Have you ever wished that everything you touched turned to gold? If you have—you are definitely not alone! In fact, there is a popular children’s story that you might be familiar with about a King named Midas who made a wish that everything he touched would to turn to gold.
King Midas’ desire was granted, and of course (at first, anyway) he was ecstatic that everything around him was transforming into the precious metal that he so dearly treasured.
Obviously, he was pretty happy about his new found ability, and I can imagine that he was shouting out this delightful tune:
“When everything, everything, everything you touch turns to gold, gold, gold.
When everything, everything, everything you touch turns to gold, gold.”
—from Gold, by Imagine Dragons
But soon there were unexpected negative consequences, like not being able to eat his food because his fingers would turn it to gold before he could consume it. But then, worst of all, when his little daughter Marigold came running to his arms, he unintentionally changed her into a gold statue.
In an instant, everything he thought would make him happy came crashing down in a hurry, and (too late) he realized the futility of pursuing possessions to fulfill his soul.
I think that’s what Imagine Dragon’s song Gold is getting at when the opening lines say:
“First comes the blessing of all that you’ve dreamed,
But then comes the curses of diamonds and rings.
Only at first did it have its appeal, but now you can’t tell the false from the real.”
I love that this song calls out the lie of our culture that money can buy happiness, or that fame will satisfy the deep longings of our eternal soul. It’s been a very successful lie, to be sure, especially because it drives our wildly successful economy. But don’t be sucked into the literal pit of despair by any song, video, quote or tweet that would promise even one iota of fulfillment through a material pursuit.
Speaking of calling out that lie…I never cease to be amazed that every word and concept in the Bible is ridiculously far ahead of its time—especially when it comes to the issue of “money=happiness.” It’s almost like God Himself wrote it! Case in point:
Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.”
He replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?”
Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”
Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’
“Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’
“That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God” (Luke 12:13-21, The Message paraphrase).
The man who yelled out from the crowd for Jesus to help him settle his financial problems was a lot like King Midas. He wanted everything he touched to turn to gold— and don’t we too? But as we see in the story Jesus told, he was really looking for fool’s gold, because as soon as we get what we want, we don’t want what we got! We want more and more and more—but in the end what we really needed was a relationship with Jesus, who promised to satisfy every longing of our souls—especially the ones that no earthly thing can!
So what are you looking to “fill your barn” with? The culture says riches, fame, and popularity (and many other things that help others get rich too) will absolutely satiate your desire to be content. But take a lesson from Jesus—that if we focus on filling our lives with God instead of defining our lives with what we have, we will truly know the contentment that He desires for His children—and that’s the truth that’s worth more than gold!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Don’t forget to tell your friends about this truth that can save them from the deceptive allure of riches and fame. Share the most valuable message of all—the gospel—that can open their eyes to our true need for Jesus.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, help us to not be deceived by the allure of riches and fame so we can fulfill our calling to THE Cause of Christ. Give us eyes to see your truth and boldness to share the gospel.
Read: 1 Timothy 6:10. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Get: Life in 6 Words App. With the Life in 6 Words interactive mobile app, you can use your phone to start spiritual conversations with your friends about what life is really all about. The striking graphics of the six words of the GOSPEL—God, Our, Sins, Paying, Everyone, Life—help you clearly communicate Jesus’ invitation to trust in Him. Download it today!
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “What if everything you touched turned to gold? Would you be truly satisfied? Read about fool’s gold in this week’s devo: http://hubs.ly/y0JJC90“
Big Idea: The materialistic worldview is deceptive and even deadly when it comes to our happiness and our eternal soul.
Key Scripture: Luke 12:13-21
- What would you do with a million dollars?
- How have you been fooled by materialism?
- Why do so many people think that they would be happy if all they touched turned to gold?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?