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Is it Gold?
Is It Real?
The World's Fools Gold
It is said that: "All that glitters is not gold." Take pyrite for instance. According to Wikipedia:
"The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. This mineral's metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its superficial resemblance to gold."
I wonder just how many people have been taken in by this mineral, and stopped looking for the real thing? I'm sure it has had many a person thinking that they were rich beyond their imaginations, only to find, sadly, that they were just as poor as ever.
The truth is, this world is full of fools gold. So many people are taken in by these shiny objects. Yet they are counterfeits masquerading as the real thing.
I. Drugs and Alcohol
One counterfeit to God's abundance is clearly drugs and alcohol. People get high on these things for many reasons, thinking that it will help them in some way.
Yet in Ephesians 5:18 the Bible clearly tell us: "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." However, there are many who don't heed this command. And they give control of their life over to a bottle, a pill, or a needle, rather than to the God who made them.
The drug and alcohol abuse statistics in the United States alone are staggering. So many use alcohol to boost their social life, give them liquid courage, or help them to "feel better, that alcohol abuse alone has become a major problem in our society.
Also, An estimated 20.4 million people in the United States used some kind of illicit drug in the past 30 days, according to the latest government statistics.
Looking further, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009.
On the highway, an alcohol related crash kills someone every 22 minutes. At any minute, one of 50 drivers on the road is drunk, and every weekend night 1 out of 10 is drunk.
More than half of all confirmed abuse reports and 75% of child deaths involve drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the parents.
The economic cost of the drug habit in the United States is somewhere between $50 billion and $100 billion a year.
And these are just a few statistics. Clearly the costs of this fools gold far outweighs any supposed benefits that it may bring.
II. Sexual Promiscuity
From the number of pornography sites on the internet, to the sexuality in movies and on television, it is clear that our culture places a high value on sex. Unfortunately, it is promiscuous sex, and not within the one man and one woman lifetime bond that was created by God. And we are paying a high toll for this as well. Sexuality has become an idol to many. And their god is destroying them.
The sad fact is that having a large number of sexual partners has been linked to poor sexual health and decreased longevity. From the various STDs, including the deadly HIV/AIDS, to various types of cancers (i.e. prostate, cervical and oral) there is indeed a consequence to being promiscuous.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 19 million new STD infections occur each year.
Add to these statistics the fact that research shows that couples who are in long-term relationships are much less likely to suffer from domestic violence and you get another dynamic to this sin.
Again, we are only scratching the surface of this fools gold in our world. For instance, let us look at these statistics: According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available. This amounts to 3,322 abortions per day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2009, 85% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women. Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population.
The Alan Gutmacher Institute also claims that there have been more than 50 million abortions in the U.S. since Roe Vs. Wade.
It is tempting to go on and name a few other vices that have taken the place of that which God has laid down in Scripture as healthy and pure. (I think of the epidemic of gambling in America, for instance). But the two mentioned have been enough to show that following God's ways are better all the way around, for the individual, for families, and for the society in which we all live.
Let us stop being deceived by the tricks of Satan into accepting the fools gold that the world has to offer us. Instead may we follow after the true treasure, laid up for us in heaven, where moth and rust cannot corrupt, nor thieves break in and steal. God's riches are the real thing! And they are eternal. May we not settle for anything less.