by Jordan Moore
Years ago, my HVAC boss surprised each employee with a generous gift. After several weeks of grueling labor in the hot summer attics, in addition to our wages, each of us received a brand-new Yeti soft-sided cooler. We were grateful and excited because these coolers come at a premium (and most of us would not have used our own money to purchase one).
Nearly a decade later, my cooler had been put through the paces. As an avid outdoorsman, its use has ranged from storing fish fillets, deer meat, dove breasts, and of course, lots of ice, waters, snacks, and soft drinks. Recently, I went to unzip the cooler and the pull came right off its track. I thought it was going to be time to retire the cooler but decided to browse YouTube to see if anyone had a quick fix. Surprisingly, I found several accounts of individuals who had similar issues and Yeti was willing to send them a brand-new cooler, despite their stated warranties having expired. Not only were they sending out replacement coolers, but they were sending out the updated version of the cooler!
So, I submitted a claim and sure enough, Yeti gave me three options to choose from to replace my cooler – no questions asked! After lots of research into which option I preferred, I selected the same model that I had, but with an updated closure using an extremely strong magnet. I liked the design because it eliminated the potential for future zipper failure. The one hang-up that I had was that the magnetic closure device would only stay open if you manually held it open. This makes it somewhat difficult to load with contents without someone’s help, or with an object to hold it open.
Despite the one perceived flaw, I was certainly ecstatic to receive the new cooler without having to pay for it (again!), and immediately started putting it to use. But it wasn’t two months before a new and improved version of the very model that I’d chosen was released. Now the cooler with the magnetic closure strip was designed to stay open on its own!
Shamefully, my initial reaction was one of disappointment and irritation. I thought, “You’re kidding me! I literally just got this brand-new cooler and they’ve already come out with a better model!” But I quickly snapped back into reality and realized that I had not a thing to complain about and absolutely no reason to be disappointed. Though a mostly benign example, this issue of “there’s always something better” can manifest itself in our lives in much greater degrees – and if we’re not careful can cost us our souls. How quickly we can turn from gratitude to ingratitude; from contentment to greed; from satisfaction to covetousness.
The Bible has much to say about this:
“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied…” (Eccl. 5:10)
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…” (Heb. 13:5)
“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Lk. 12:15)
“Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” (Prov. 11:28)
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim. 6:10)
Sadly, so often we exchange riches for something of far greater value. Ahab exchanged (murdered) Naboth for a small parcel of land (1 Kings 21:1-16); Gehazi lied to obtain Naaman’s possessions and was stricken with leprosy (2 Kings 5:20-27); Achan plundered Jericho and lost his life and the lives of his children (Josh. 7:10-26); Delilah prompted Samson’s demise for 1100 pieces of silver (Jud. 16:5); Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16).
Are you on the verge of exchanging something of far greater value for fleeting riches? Perhaps even your own soul?