What you pay for...

1 Peter 3:13-4:6: Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also…so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. You have already spent enough time…doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation…

Through the pandemic, we have endured a phenomenon called “shadow inflation.” In that trend, the price does not go up, but the business “gives the customer a lesser experience.”

Shadow inflation also lurks when we seek to fill spiritual needs with physical or material things. We are physical beings, and we can use and value physical things. But Scripture continually warns us of the temporary nature of this world, and of our deep need for the eternal gifts of God. We must remember that things of earth can never replace what our souls so deeply need: connection with God our Creator.

First Peter urges us to “arm yourselves…so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God.” Danger awaits in the human instinct, even more tenacious in our time and place, to equate “excesses of dissipation” with abundance.

Substituting things of earth for things of heaven is the metaphysical version of shadow inflation.

Psalms 140, 142; Isaiah 24:14-23; Matthew 20:17-28

Copyright 2021 by Carol Mead.  For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on Carol Mead’s devotional books, please go to www.holyordinary.com


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