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.