“The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold.” Psalms 19:9-10 NIV
My wife and I recently were able to take our first cruise. It was a blessing and allowed us to have the first extended time away together in over a decade. We were able to relax, recharge, and eat WAY too much! I was thinking about gluttony during the cruise and perused for a minute if I should write about that. It was a good lesson in self-control, that’s for sure, and my stomach hated me when I did not engage in said self-control.
We also learned more about jewelry than we ever wanted to know. It seems that jewelry buying is a big attraction on cruise ships due to it being tax and duty-free on the open water. They bribed us to take these informational sessions by giving us a charm bracelet and then a charm with each subsequent meeting. There were a total of 8 meetings and we only made it to half. Initially, I was interested in bringing my daughter home a fully charmed-out bracelet; but we decided to buy the charms for her later, due to not wanting to spend most of our time during the cruise jewelry shopping vs. relaxing.
I will admit that learning details about the 4 C’s of diamonds (clarity, cut, color, carat) and the history of tanzanite was interesting, at first. I also wished I had 10K to spend on jewelry, once I saw the prices and how much they hype the sales and products. Terms like “once in a lifetime,” “limited time only,” and “it will never be this cheap again” were frequently shouted. Once the glitz and glimmer faded though, my wife and I were left with a feeling of sadness over the amount of value they place on jewelry. Granted, I know the promoters running the meetings were being paid to make buying jewelry seem like the most important thing in the moment, but overall it was a very worldly-focused experience.
It was comments like “leave a legacy to your family by passing on tanzanite” and “my collection of jewels is second to none” that really started to leave us with a bad aftertaste at how superfluous everything seemed. They asked what was the “most important thing in your life?” My wife and I yelled, “Jesus!” but the answer they were looking for was family. Ok, that’s a close second… more specifically illustrating how you should pass on a legacy of fine jewelry down to your family (eye roll).
To be clear, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with buying jewelry, even expensive ones. I’m sure many of the people on the cruise were in a position to easily spend thousands of dollars on jewelry that would be similar in scale to me spending $100 on a necklace for my wife.
As far as a legacy goes, I don’t want to pass on jewelry to my children, at least not in the context of legacy. An inheritance is fine and well, but a legacy I want to leave them is a lifetime of faithfulness. I want them to have knowledge of Jesus that never leaves them. I want them to see me honor God in all my actions, love my wife as Christ loved the church, and be compassionate to those around me by giving generously of my time and money. I want them to know their father loves them no matter what; I want them to know I am proud of them and that I encouraged them to fight for what was right, to be steadfast in their walk with the Lord, and pursue the God-given dreams they have been inspired to dream. That is the legacy I want to be known for!
I did find tanzanite interesting, learning it was recently discovered in the 1960s in Tanzania. It is actually a variety of the mineral, zoisite, which is a common mineral; but because it is under the mountains of Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is infused with other elements they don’t even know of to give it the blue and purple color. It made me think of what else has not been discovered yet?! It also made me think of the marvelous wonders we will see in heaven with jewels that have never been seen before on earth. The book of Revelation gives us a peek:
The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eight beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:18-20 NIV
What an amazing picture of heaven that cannot be compared with anything here on earth. Even the crowns we receive will be cast at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10), and any streets or houses of gold will pale in comparison to spending eternity with Jesus.
Our true treasure is in heaven. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our goal on earth should be to be good stewards of what we have (regardless if that is a lot or very little), be generous and show love to those around us, and never forget where our true treasure is. Don’t seek the gold; seek the One who created the gold!
Discerning Reflection: How motivated am I by earthly riches vs. eternal rewards? Am I a good steward of what God has given me? Do I covet what I cannot have and allow it to consume my thoughts or am I thankful for my blessings?
Prayer: Lord, help me be thankful for all the blessings you have given me. Please help me not look at what this world says is a treasure we should pursue, but help me grow in my relationship with you daily as I await your return.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on discerning-dad.com
Featured Image by Jacek Dylag