The blatant message of advertising is ‘you can have a good life and feel great when you own this…you deserve it’. Beware of the seductive temptation into a way of life shaped by the accumulation of things. Jesus said, “Your life doesn’t consist in the abundance of your possessions” (Lk 12:15). A truly satisfying earthly existence and life

Do I need this?

eternal are only found in knowing Him (Jn 10:10, 17:3). Being strongly self-disciplined, having an eternal perspective and worthwhile goals gives the power to say ‘no’ to the endless pressure to purchase what are essentially the trappings of life. Isn’t it a wiser choice to store up treasure in heaven that will last forever rather than on the earth where it will deteriorate and can be stolen besides being surpassed by next years model! Where our focus is reveals a great deal about our spirituality (Mt 6:19-21). If we focus our eyes on other gods, we lose perspective with the essential God.

True Christianity does not define our meaning or value according to what we own or can purchase. Jesus calls us to pursue a spiritual pathway based on a relationship with God and with others irrespective of race, gender or social status. His model of living and leadership is not based on power rather on servanthood. His way exemplifies care and concern for all, a simpler contented lifestyle uncluttered by things, opposed to self-centeredness and greed. The quality of our spirituality can’t be measured by our investments or possessions. The ‘developed world’ often is materially rich but, spiritually poor (Rev 3:17,18).

“Do not love the world or anything in the world…the boasting of what man has and does [or owns], comes not from the Father but from the world…The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever” (1 Jn 2:15-17). The pride that often accompanies expensive, unnecessary purchases is overshadowed by the debt incurred. Before making a purchase we should ask, is this the best use of my money? Have an eternal perspective. The motives of greed, envy, pride and selfishness that often accompany consumerism are driven by dissatisfaction and covetousness. Being grateful for what you have helps combat the pull of consumerism for this world and its values are to no longer dictate our passions.

Many families buy into the world’s model of both parents in paid employment and the young children in childcare so there is little valuable input into their impressionable lives. This causes an emotional separation and leaves the parents with little time for God because they are too busy

True happiness comes from relationship(s) not accumulating things

and exhausted. Perhaps if there was more “Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” then “all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt 6:33). Instead of building our own temporary empire on earth, why not invest in His eternal Kingdom, remembering God is no man’s debtor (1 Sam 2:30).

See also: contentment, covet, materialism, possessions, relationships, selfishness, vanity, wealth.