• Topic > Christianity & Culture > Materialism > Consumerism >

    Best Deal Ever!

    How much is enough? We might ask this simple question on a day that many developed countries increasingly devote to shopping. I speak of Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, in which many stores open early and offer cut-price deals; a day that has spread from the States to other nations. Some shoppers have limited resources and are trying to purchase something at a price they can afford. But sadly for others greed is the motivation, and violence erupts as they fight for bargains.

    The wisdom of the Old Testament writer known as “the Teacher” (Eccl. 1:1) provides…

    It wasn’t just excessive spending, it was more.

    Ask any good Christian where their comfort comes from and their answer would be Christ. My source of comfort starts with C too, but I’m afraid it’s something else: Clothes.

    Celebrate!

    Last Christmas I read an article from a religious thinker I admire. She attempted to make the case that we should avoid the exuberant celebration of Christmas—particularly gift-giving. Her familiar complaints? The consumerism and hustle and bustle of the holidays. As we take an axe to consumerism or greed, however, we must not unwittingly also take the axe to joy. In the next few days, you’ll likely give someone a Christmas gift that feels at least a little lavish or unnecessary. You may receive one as well. I believe this mirrors the generosity of God. Certainly, joy doesn’t require expensive…

    What legacy will you leave your loved ones?

    You’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul! That’s because when we die, we leave all that we have behind! Let’s talk about finding contentment in the legacy we leave behind. What will you leave your loved ones when you pass on?

    We can be content even if we don’t have it all!

    Every day we’re bombarded by advertisements pointing out all the things we lack. The enticing commercials can make satisfaction an elusive feeling. What we have is not what makes us whole.

    Let’s take a closer look at Matthew chapter 6 to see the right ways, and wrong ways, to apply this passage

    In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised to supply all of our needs. But what about our wants? Are they part of the agreement as well?

    Homes And Other Treasures

    Recently I decided to renovate the living room of our old terrace house. I painted the ceiling and replaced the ugly and dated lights. I took down the faded curtains and put up roller blinds. I spent hours on the walls—sanding off flaking paint, filling the many dents and holes, resanding, then applying multiple coats of new paint. A cement slab in the corner was removed and new tiles were laid. The fireplace also needed to be replaced. Finally, I sanded back the skirting boards and repainted them with gloss. It was hard work, but I felt proud of the…

    What does it means to be well-off financially and still follow Christ?

    Is the decision to serve money over God a choice we make with our wallets, or is it a decision we make with our hearts?

    Disposable Culture

    More than ever, we live in a disposable culture. Think for a minute about some of the things that are made to be thrown away—razors, water bottles, lighters, paper plates, plastic eating utensils. Products are used, tossed, and then replaced.

    craving cashmere

    While I was helping to organize donations of clothing for a church event, I paused to touch a cashmere sweater’s soft grey cloth. When I realized it would fit me, I considered the possibility of owning it—for free! Volunteers were allowed first dibs on the donations. Cashmere is an expensive fabric, and although I have enough sweaters, this one was calling my name. After some inner turmoil, I finally offered the item to a fellow worker, who joyfully accepted it.

    Get Your “Wanter” Fixed

    When my wife was a young girl in Austin, Texas, Carlyle Marney was her family’s neighbor, pastor, and friend. One of his off-hand remarks about being content became one of her family’s enduring expressions: “Dr. Marney says, ‘We just need to get our wanter fixed.’”

    More, More, More

    Some people love to shop. They have a perpetual desire to buy, buy, buy. The craze to find the latest deal is worldwide. There are huge shopping malls in China, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Philippines, the United States, and around the world. A rise in store purchases and online buying show that buying is a global phenomenon.

    A Collector’s Heaven

    People love to collect things—from baseball cards to stamps to coins. And while collecting can be a fun hobby, it is sobering to think that once we leave this earth, everything we own becomes part of someone else’s collection. What value would it be to have collected much on earth but little or nothing for eternity?

    Consumer Mentality

    I like to read, and I enjoy buying books. But I don’t like it when publishers refer to me as a “consumer.” The word consume can mean “do away with completely” or “spend wastefully.” It brings to mind forest fires that devour acre after acre of vegetation, leaving behind only scorched remnants of trees and homes. When we read books, we don’t consume them in that sense, for they don’t cease to exist after we’ve used them. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They become a part of us; they change us.

    Not Enough

    The writer of Ecclesiastes said that pleasure, material possessions, and even great knowledge do not bring lasting satisfaction. Jesus went even further. He said that a person who possesses everything this world has to offer but doesn’t prepare for eternity is spiritually destitute. We all need more than fun, finances, and fame to be fulfilled.