Friday, October 9, 2009

My struggle with Materialism

I struggle often with materialism and I have for a while. Our last church seemed to help me in that area, as many of the people were struggling financially, so we didn't feel that need to "keep up with the Joneses." I did struggle with it some then. I remember going to Sunday school one morning and talking about how I felt guilty that I was working 10 hours a week away from home and my 8 month old and 3 year old just because I wanted to go to Disneyworld and wanted things. I guess I was expecting for some of the wives to give me some advice on defeating materialistic attitudes, but instead I got support. I heard that there was nothing wrong with that and that some women were not meant to stay at home with the kids and many of them said they would "go crazy" if they had to stay cooped up with their kids all the time. And of course, no one even mentioned Titus 2 or Timothy or God's OBVIOUS plan for women by examining our biology and the consequences physically of changing this plan. I have to say that I was beyond shocked. I guess I still am, even though it is 3 years later. I guess my question is how did we get to this point? We are the church. We should not be justifying materialistic attitudes. I hate to over simplify, but What Would Jesus Do? Substitute Do with Buy and you have a whole new can of worms. I often think would Jesus think it is OK to spend this kind of money on a vacation. You see, Disney is my worldly desire. Some people desire sports cars and motorcycles, electronics, clothes, boats...not me. I want Disney! I would live there if I could. Is this OK? Can I possibly justify the expense of that kind of vacation? We went 3 years in a row and each time I felt a little guilt. When I talk to my sisters in Christ, they tell me I shouldn't feel guilty. By the way, it is hard to find the non-materialist sister to talk to. We are all so worldly. The general consensus, I think, is that if you are tithing and God has provided that extra money, then use it! And of course, how can we counsel each other against materialism when we are mostly all so materialistic? In our class we often talk about ambition and how it can be good or bad. About our motives and that makes a difference. I wonder to myself if this is true. Does God put conditions on his instructions. Does he say don't covet... unless of course you are doing it for your family, then it's OK. How big a house do we really NEED? How many pairs of shoes do we really NEED? This can go on and on from food, to furniture, to cars, to entertainment, and vacations. We have become a church that looks exactly like society. And every time I log on to Facebook I see pics of some other toy one of my brothers or sisters in Christ has just bought. I know I should probably suggest alesson on materialism, but then I might be forced to give up MY materialistic desires...and I am really hoping to go to Disney next year so maybe this lesson should wait.


  1. Hi! I discovered your blog through Michelle's blog party. I wanted you to know that I love your profile and your mission! I look forward to reading here as I have time!

  2. Welcome to the blog party!

    I agree with Elizabeth...your "mission" is wonderful and encouraging to read!

    Wow...materialism...what a great post! I browsed down in your blog a bit and see that you desire to know what is right for Christians to do. You are so right...the world has infiltrated the church.

    If you go to my blog and scroll down you will see a post titled "paper route"...the kids and I saved for a holiday together. But, you are right...we are to keep these things in perpective...God gives all things richly to enjoy...but there is also the balance...moderation...the Lord will give the needed guidance in these things!

    With the Lord one step at a time...He will guide us each as we look to Him for wisdom. What a blessing!

    Have a wonderful day!

  3. Thank you so much! I have been visiting blogs myself today and really love this idea of connecting!

  4. What a great topic! I stopped by for the party and I've been blessed. Mothering truly is the best job on the planet!

    God Bless, Jackie

  5. Looks like I may be the only guy here. This is a great post on materialism. I remember when researching my dissertation reading articles in the Baptist state papers from the early 60s warning of the dangers of materialism for SBC churches. Those warnings have gone mostly unheeded, and it's brought us to the brink of ruin. We're selfish, self-absorbed, and the only gospel that appeals is the gospel of prosperity (for more on that see

    My father lived through the Great Depression. I've heard the stories. We don't know what privation is. We think if we have live with only one car we're facing hard times. What? No cable? You've got to be kidding? Please.

    Take that vacation and go on a mission trip. Do something for the kingdom with that money. Become a trained disaster relief volunteer. Use vacation time to help out with VBS or a Backyard Bible Club in the inner city. Make a difference. Remember, "Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12: 2).

    Loved today's post. Found it heartening and convicting all at the same time.

  6. My sweet husband mentioned your last couple of posts to me. I had to come see for myself. :)

    Yes, materialism is one of those things I think most of us struggle with--even "good" Christians. I know Christian mothers who struggle with feeling they are "entitled" to go out to eat once or twice a week. I know others who feel they are entitled to a gym membership--or cable TV. Or whatever.

    Yet I think we all need to ask God what to do with our money. Yes, we need to tithe--but I don't think that is where it stops. We are so much richer than the vast majority of the world's population--and the world's population through the centuries. I am not going to say that every Christian must take mission trips, adopt children, give to a certain mission, or whatever.

    I just think we should be surrendered to what God would have us do. :)

  7. God does want to bless us and for us to enjoy everything He has provided. And the counterbalance is also true: we need to be content and to spend our lives on behalf of God and others and not with our eyes on ourselves!

    I think a good way to keep it all in perspective is what my pastor calls: "Coming in the opposite spirit." When the enemy would like us to fear, we should make a major act of faith. When the enemy would have us to bad-mouth some one or gossip, we should take the time to bless that one with a gift or spend time in prayer on their behalf. Come in the opposite spirit!

    Right now our family (along with many others) are finishing up The 10-Day Give where we gave soemthing every day for 10 days. Could be time, money, a gift, a letter of appreciation, emptying out our over-crowded closets, etc. It has been faith building and such a blessing. It's good to inspire a spirit of giving in our children, too! It's been our way of coming in the opposite spirit. Everyone in the news and politics is all grim about the economy and it can make me fearful of the future. The enemy would like God's saints to hoard. So, we are doing the opposite and giving, giving, giving!

    You can read all about the 10-Day give on my blog. I've done several posts on it in the last 10 days (and also last year when we did it).

    Blessings to you!

    --Daja (stopping by from Michelle's blog party!)

  8. Welcome to the blog party, thanks for linking up. Look forward to reading more. Have a lovely weekend!

    In Him

  9. I am here via Michelle, and I must say, yours is a very interesting blog entry. I like the "what would Jesus buy?" mentality. It really is something we need to take before the Lord, and seek HIS will.
    Nice "meeting" you!