Debbie Downer

Published on Aug 17th, 2017 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Debbie Downer

Debbie Downer I suppose that in our politically correct culture I should apologize to all Debbies out there. I know that you are not all downers but the alliteration works. With that out of the way, I will begin. I have been stalking Facebook. I usually do not write much on Facebook because my sarcasm just comes across as mean and I am not fully sure where it goes or who sees it. I have been noticing though, that many of you have had great summers filled with vacations, trips, and family fun. I truly am happy with you. God has certainly blessed and you are obeying the command in Timothy to enjoy (I Tim 6:17).

Now comes the Debbie Downer part. There is a warning to be heard here. Listen to Hosea, “Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more fruit increased, the more altars he built.” (Hosea 10:1a). The more God blessed Israel, the more they sinned and worshiped the gift rather than the giver. The gift does not demand anything from us. The gift simply gives us enjoyment and allows us to thrive in our lives. It is similar to vacation and our jobs. Vacation gives us enjoyment, relaxation, time with our families...vacation gives us life. Our jobs seem to take everything from us. Our time, our energy, and our families. Our jobs demand so much from us while our vacations give us joy and happiness. In reality, though, it is just the opposite. For everything our vacation gives...it takes back. Money is flying out the door on vacation and not much money is flying in. Our jobs demand much but in reality, they provide the money we need to live on. They allow us to go on vacation.

I am pretty sure that Israel walked slowly into their sin. At first, it was simply neglect of God. Yes, he was the one who provided the fruit and we should be grateful. I will say thank you right after I am done eating this juicy peach. That moment of gratefulness comes less and less. Soon the peach is what is seen as bringing the joy. The peach gives great pleasure. I no longer want to share the peach or use the peach for the glory of God...I simply want to eat the peach. There is great pleasure in that. The peach was given to enjoy but that enjoyment, according to Timothy, was the enjoyment of sharing. The enjoyment of bringing glory to God through the eating of the peach. If we simply enjoy the peach it will soon disappear, no more peaches will be given, and our joy will fade because the peach is gone. That joy was to be found in the giver, not in the peach.

There is nothing wrong in enjoying vacations. I am going on one in October that I am looking forward to enjoying. The Debbie Downer warning though is that our hearts cannot stay on vacation. Our joy cannot be fully found in the fruit. We must find joy in the giver. That joy is found in giving to others (God’s heart) so that we understand what is truly life. Vacation, as good as it can be, is simply a tiny view of what God has in store for us in heaven. That eternal life, our final fruit from God, is what we need to keep our focus on. The final gift that God will give us is Jesus. Being with him forever. We prepare for that great gift by desiring him more than we desire the peach.

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