If you give a young child the option between a 25¢ gumball-machine ring and a real diamond, it’s easy to imagine that she might be tempted by first option. I’ve witnessed many a young girl ooh and ahh over a large pink plastic ring and feel treacherously betrayed when another friend puts it on her finger. It’s bigger, shinier, and colorful. Who wouldn’t make the same choice?
Give any adult woman the same choice and by and large she will choose the real diamond. What makes the difference? Maturity. Over the course of her lifetime she has grown in her understanding of value, as well as her appreciation of beauty.
I fear that when it comes to the treasure found in Christ, I may often show the immaturity of a two year old. Some days I find myself oohing and aahing over the world’s trinkets, wondering if perhaps God loves someone else a bit more because they seem to enjoy a bigger piece of the proverbial pie. It’s not only possessions, but also the relationships, giftedness, ministry endeavors, awards, and experiences of others that can appear bigger, shinier, and more colorful.
When I become fixated on earthly trinkets, I miss the real treasure. And, by doing so, I exchange gumball-machine happiness for lasting joy.