This world, and everything in it, is characterized by defect and decay (Genesis 3:17; 1 John 2:17). Everything. Nothing is perfect — as much as we’d like to believe, some things will be perfectly satisfying. Nothing lasts forever — as much as we’d like to believe some things can be with us always. Whenever we trust a created thing too much, it lets us down, eventually. Whenever we put too much stock into a created thing, it breaks our hearts, inevitably. We’ve all experienced this. Maybe we’ve trusted too much the ability to work to give us security. Maybe we’ve trusted too much the ability of achievement to give us meaning. Maybe we’ve trusted too much the ability of sex to give us comfort or adventure. Maybe we’ve trusted the abilities of houses or vacations, cars. tools, gear, or gadgets too much to give us joy.
“Smoke, nothing but smoke.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 MSG)
Created things can be gifts from our Father God, of course (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). Even those cannot deliver everything we need though. We’re to enjoy them during their moments, but our enjoyment is meant to be fleeting. If we begin to think the gifts themselves will fill us up and complete our lives, we invite grief. We’re meant to focus our lives, not on the gifts, but on the Giver. We’re meant to focus our lives, not on created things, but on the Creator. Only He is perfect and eternal.
If you’ve allowed yourself to trust any created thing too much — money, status, material things, sex, another person — it’s time to confess that to God and others. It’s time to repent. Declare that you want to be reliant on God alone . . . the Giver behind all gifts, the Creator behind all created things.