• Topic > Christianity & Culture > Materialism > Consumerism >

    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.’”

    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?

    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.

    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?

    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.

    Money Matters

    Godfrey Davis, who wrote a biography of the Duke of Wellington, said, “I found an old account ledger that showed how the Duke spent his money. It was a far better clue to what he thought was really important than the reading of his letters or speeches.”

    How we handle money reveals much about our priorities. That’s why Jesus often talked about money.

    "Enough!"

    After Bob Ritchie graduated from college, he spent the next two decades in the grasp of a love for money and advancement. He uprooted his wife and family five times for his career, so that he could make more money. Each time they left warm church communities behind.

    After a while, Bob and his family seldom had time for church. As God’s people became strangers, so did the Lord. He became desperately lonely and isolated. Growing discontented with his life, he finally said, “Enough!”


    September 2019: Christian Living

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