We all are consumers of goods, but many people have taken their consumption too far. No longer are they merely consuming what they need, they are becoming obsessed with it.
It has become commonplace this day and age for the family to go shopping together, as a form of entertainment. Instead of spending time together with extended family and friends, shopping is an event all on its own. Through tv, internet, and radio ads, to name a few, we are continually bombarded with the message that we “need more.”
With this mentality no longer are we thinking or focusing on being grateful for what we have. We have gotten in the mindset of “what else do I need?”
I can confidently talk about this because I used to have a big problem with consumerism. Many weekends our family would load up in the car and go shopping just for the fun of it. We would find things that we thought we needed, many that we previously didn’t even know existed. Carts full of unneeded toys, clothes, and household accessories. Afterwards, we would indulge ourselves with lunch at a restaurant. The funny thing was, we didn’t realize we were spending just to spend, but that’s exactly what it was!
Apparently the act of shopping and purchasing something gives the buyer an artificial high. Thus the reason it can so easily become an addiction. Just ask someone who often frequents their local Target what they would do if they couldn’t go shopping regularly. They get this glazed look over their face, and say, “I don’t know...”
There are two major problems with this consumerism mentality, aside from the obvious financial one:
- It just adds clutter. No wonder I am in dire need of decluttering my house! The amount of “goods” entering my home far exceeded those going out. It’s simple logic, more coming in than going out, equals accumulation.
- It is against God’s teaching. Obviously this is by far the most important reason. The more I look to the Bible for answers, the more I find them. Here is a verse that directly corresponds with consumerism.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Very clearly God is telling us to be content with what we have. If you continue reading, the Bible warns us what will happen if we don’t obey the previous verses.
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Time and time again I learn that the warnings we receive from the Bible are accurate. So, what are we supposed to do? Let’s read on:
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
The first word that pops out at me is flee. Well, that’s pretty basic, too. Don’t wonder off, don’t stop and think about it for a minute. Flee!
Note: Please be considerate of your fellow shoppers when you decide you need to flee. Knocking them to the floor is not a kind thing to do, and actually a whole other topic.
Also linked to Life As Mom