I was talking with a couple of co-workers this week about how I am
restoring three laptops I have and placing them on Craigslist. They
asked, “why do you have three laptops?” I didn’t really have a good
answer. As we have replaced computers over the last couple of years,
they just ended up on a shelf. I also found an old monitor, and a
camera body, among other things. Things I don’t need. Things I don’t
want. But…they are things I once wanted and thought I needed. I am a
victim of American consumerism. No other country in the world spends
as much on consumer goods than the US. As Morgan Stanley reports, in
just one study, “Over the 1996 to 2004 period, annual growth in US
personal consumption expenditures averaged 3.9% — nearly double the
2.2% pace recorded elsewhere in the so-called advanced world.” The
real prices of many consumer goods are as much as 50 percent less than
they were a century ago. It has never been so easy for so many of us
to amass so much stuff. We live in a land of wants, not needs.
As Christians, the desire for stuff, more stuff, and the things of
this world creates a problem. I, for one, struggle with wanting.
Wanting newer, better, more… Jesus said, in Luke 12:15, “Watch out and
be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the
abundance of his possessions.” I think He was talking to Americans. I
know He was talking to me. The danger in accumulating stuff, is that
we become more and more focused on the material world. We get
distracted from eternity. We become so comfortable that instead of
being ready and watching for His return (Matthew 24:44, 25:13), we are
playing with our shiny trinkets. All of us fall victim to consumerism.
How are you keeping yourself in check? What are you doing to make sure
that you are ready and watching for Jesus return?
Please share with me your thoughts