Why do You Spend Money on Things that Do Not Satisfy?

John Reeves, enjoying a moment with his wife, Pam and daughters, Christa and Kelly



Isaiah 55: 2   Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy? [1]


A fellow shared with me today that he feels badly about many of the choices he made in his young adult years. At 54 years of age, he now realizes that he squandered much of his youth with poor decisions that landed him in prison and a body riddled with drug enthused residual effects. He spent three decades making bad choices that have set him back at this present stage of his life. I made a commitment to him to sit down with him in the future to talk about a “Path Forward.” Tomorrow, I plan to write a piece entitled, “The Path Forward.”


Today, however, I want to come back to the words in Isaiah 55 where the prophet shares the word of God to the people of Israel and chastises them for making poor choices in how they spend their money and “Labor that does not satisfy.”


Each of us has more than likely asked the same question about our labor: “Why do we labor of that which does not satisfy?”


My first job, at sixteen, was stocking shelves in the men’s department of Sam’s Department Store in downtown Detroit. The pay was minimum wage. The work was tedious, but, I did learn how to fold shirts, and to this day, when I fold clothes, I smile and remember the lessons I learned in on the lower level of Sam’s Department Store. The work was not satisfying, but it was work. I was happy to have a job, but also at sixteen, I realized that this was not a job I wanted to do for the rest of my life.


In our modern world, many work jobs that are unfulfilling. Much of my month is spent talking with folk who want to do something different. There is nothing wrong with knowing what you do not want to do for the rest of your life. By the same token, sometimes we spend our money with poor choices that do not satisfy. Sometimes we eat food that does not make us feel great. Some of our choices are not only unsatisfying, but dangerous, destructive and debilitating to ourselves and the relationships that mean the most to us.


I encourage you to read Isaiah’s challenge to the people of Israel and ask yourself, am I making the most of my time, my body, my money and resources and my faith?


Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does this scripture say to you regarding modern spending and debt?
  2. How would you describe fulfilment that provides a person with genuine satisfaction?


Prayer: Lord, show me the way to fulfilment and personal satisfaction. Teach me to spend and save in ways that will provide deep and lasting joy. Inspire me, Lord, that I might learn to maximize time, space, and resources. Bless me with the ability to make the most of the life you have given me and help me to share with others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, prayers photos and publications by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 55:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.