HOW TO BREAK THE HOLD OF CONSUMERISM

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“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  Matthew 8:20 NIV

An article from Relevant magazine says that the amount of money spent on Christmas presents the weekend after Thanksgiving is more than half what people donate to charities for the entire year.  The article points out interesting facts, such as 40% of food in America is wasted. One stat instantly convicted me; American homes have more TV’s in them than they do people. My husband and I have more than two TV’s in our home of two. 

Consumerism is the true religion of our day.  No one can ever get enough. We need a nicer car, bigger home, jewelry, more TV’s than people.  As Rick Warren says, we spend money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Not Jesus, He didn’t do that.  Jesus didn’t have a place to lay his head.  He didn’t have a house, He never drove a car.  On occasion He rode a donkey, but not often. The boats he travelled in were not yachts.  And from all of the studying I’ve done, I’ve never known Jesus to wear jewelry. Jesus didn’t come for things, He came for people.

Jesus didn’t come for things, He came for people.

The only way to break the hold of consumerism on our lives is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.  The first commandment God gave Moses was, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:4 NIV).  The first thing God tells us to do is not put anything before Him.  Anything includes the majority of the things we think we can’t live without.  We think we can’t live without cell phones or computers, yet Jesus did. We think we need so many of the things Jesus never had.  All of those things can represent gods in our lives. They can consume us and we can miss out on the things that truly matter. We can miss out on the people God has given us in our lives.

I had lunch with a friend and her daughter.  Her daughter, only 20 years old at the time had spent 6 months in the hospital with a rare condition. To be having lunch with them was a true miracle.  There were times during her time in the hospital, we didn’t think she was going to make it. They had been stripped of all of their “stuff.” Hospital rooms tend to be drab and clinical.  For months they persevered, clinging to Jesus. And that was all they needed. They didn’t need stuff, they needed Jesus. By clinging to Him, He gave them joy in the midst of heartache. If we want to beat consumerism, we have to keep our eyes on Jesus.

Question of the Day:

Our you focused on stuff or Jesus?

Further Reading: Genesis 24:52-26:16 NIV, Matthew 8:18-34 NIV, Psalm 10:1-15 NIV, Proverbs 2:16-22 NIV

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