Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Necklace

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2)

Guy de Maupassant's story, "The Necklace," tells the tragic story of a girl named Mathilde. Invited to an exclusive and elegant dance, she borrowed a most costly necklace from a rich friend. The necklace had its intended effect, as many complimented her beauty that night. Horror of all horrors, she lost the necklace. She was so ashamed to confess it to her friend; she purchased a necklace just like it the next day for 40,000 francs. She gave it to her wealthy friend and did not tell her about the one she lost. She and her husband labored overtime and at many extra jobs trying to pay off the loan for the replaced necklace. Finally paid off, Mathilde spoke to her rich friend and confessed to her that they had slaved for ten years to pay for the replacement. The rich friend replied, "What a shame.

The necklace was imitation and almost worthless. It was made of paste."

This story is a perfect picture of us when we spend our time and energy on things of little value. Isaiah asked this pointed question: "Why will you spend money on what is not bread, and why will you labor for things that cannot satisfy?" Many have spent a lifetime trying to buy into the world's system and its pleasure, which always ends up in the "paste" category. The nonbeliever' s life is a life of chasing mirages. The treasures of the world always seem so real, but they are phony and fake.

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