The video for the song “Rich Girl$” by Down With Webster shows a girl whose rich parents are going away for the weekend, and after her parents give some last minute instructions, she does what any self-respecting twenty-something would do – throw a party. This video shows your typical house party (except the house is huge), a swimming pool, girls in bikinis, dancing, beer pong, and some crazy guy that thinks it’s a brilliant idea to pour alcohol into a water gun and shoot it into girls mouths. This illustrates a philosophy that so many of today’s culture have adopted: money equals stability and happiness.
The problem with this philosophy is that it doesn’t work. Those that spend their lives desiring money and popularity end up empty and more alone than they could have imagined possible.
Recently, a friend of mine made a comment that she needed to re-evaluate who she thought were her friends. I asked her what happened, and she told me that she had her birthday party at a relatively popular after hours club in Dallas, and that a lot of people who she invited came to the party, but didn’t even say hi to her. Then she said, “I’m tired of having all of these ‘acquaintances. I miss having real friends.” My heart broke immediately, and I wanted to do something to help her feel better, but there wasn’t really anything I could do.
The problem with chasing after money and popularity is that everyone is in it for two things: a good time, and themselves. As long as they are having a good time, they won’t pause long enough to notice someone hurting even if they are sitting right beside them. We were not designed for this. We were not created to be this way.
Genesis chapters one and two show us the way that God created the world. He created it in a sinless state, where we could be in constant fellowship, and to have and be in relationship, with God. Genesis 3:8 says that Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the garden. Then in 3:9-10 when God asks, “Where are you?”, Adam doesn’t reply with “Ummm, who are you?”. He says that he was afraid because he heard God’s voice. The fact that they were able to recognize that this was God walking among them leads me to believe that this was a common occurrence. Think about it, before the days of caller ID, when you picked up the phone and heard someone just say “Hey, how’s your day going?”, and you immediately know who it is, it’s because you talk with them often enough to recognize their voice without them having to identify themselves. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God consistently. We were created to be in relationship with God.
When Adam and Eve sinned, we fell out of that constant relationship with God, and began chasing after other things. We began to desire money, sex, alcohol, and even something as innocent as relationships with other people more than God. This leaves us empty, alone, and unsatisfied in life. It is no accident that “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” is the first of the commandments God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. God’s first command to us is that we place primary focus on the very thing we were created to do in Genesis, worship and be in relationship with Him. Psalm 37:4 tells us “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. God commands us to do this, not because He has some desire to ruin our lives, or limit our happiness, but because we can only be truly happy and full of joy when we are fulfilling the purpose for which we were created by glorifying God with our lives. God’s goal in redemptive history is His glory and our joy when we take part in it by being in relationship with Him.