Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. — Epictetus

There’s a small pause between hearing the lie and believing the lie. When someone or something tries to tell you, “You are missing out!” grab that thought and stop for just a moment. In this pause, there is a choice to be made.

King David was young, handsome, popular, and poetic. He had the wealth of a kingdom at his disposal, wives and children filling his home. Everything in David’s life was going up, up, up.

Then we get to 2 Samuel 11. In the season when kings went off to war, David stayed home.

One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, (2 Samuel 11:2)

Do you see the comma after beautiful—that one tiny comma? It’s exactly where verse 2 ends, and it’s exactly where the lie shows up.

This comma is the pause between King David hearing the lie and deciding whether or not to believe it. It’s in this pause, after he sees the woman on the roof, when the lie whispers over and over, “You’re missing out, David.”

… and David sent someone to find out about her.  (2 Samuel 11:3)

The messenger comes back and tells David this woman is the daughter of a man David knows and the wife of one of David’s warriors. God’s grace and guidance are all over this messenger, “Don’t buy into the lie. You’re not missing out.”

Still, David believed the lie, and the remainder of 2 Samuel shows the cost of the lie, as not only David, but also many other people paid the debt.

How can we resist the lie that we are missing out? Remember that God has blessed us fully. Hearing the lie and believing the lie are not simultaneous. Look for the pause—the comma—and refuse to consume what the lie tries to feed you.

Wise Father, the lust of my eyes is debt in disguise. I’ve been blinded by materialism, by my desire for something different—even someone else. Today I’ve learned Your boundaries are grace—a safety net knitted in love. When I hear the lie, speak truth to me. Please, please make me willing to hear that truth, pause, and choose wisely. Amen.