Americans are great consumers, aren’t we? We will buy just about anything. Rocks. Others’ trash we believe to be treasure. A shirt with some man’s name on it so we can be advertising pawns. A bag with a strange logo emblazoned on it. A motor vehicle because some commercial said we’d be cool or sexy if we drive it. A McMansion because society says you have arrived if you live here.
Have you ever stopped and questioned yourself why you are purchasing something? Far too often, I think it has to do with the pervasive subliminal messages. I don’t think we were born with the need to impress or be cool. I think we were born with the desire to be loved, fed and clothed. Pretty basic needs if you ask me. How did we stray so far from basic necessity then?
I’m not saying it’s a negative thing at all to own expensive things. They’re all wonderful if one can afford them. It becomes an issue when our identity is enshrined in things. We all want to put our best foot forward (or at least most), but what about when you overextend your foot? You dislocate your finances. Not good.
Because our society is more connected than at any other time in history, we are bombarded with advertising as well. I am a stubborn individual. I turn down the radio on commercials. I mute the t.v. on commercials (if I watch t.v. at all). I close out the ad box on YouTube. And why do stores think we need to be entertained in the check out aisle with a series of advertisements? I resent the “in your face” brainwashing. I really am not impressed with what some advertising guru tells me is the latest and greatest thing that I must spend our hard earned money on. Not in the least.
Question: Would you still buy that expensive suit, handbag, watch, car, etc. if you were invisible? Obviously no man is an island to himself, but it poses food for thought. Who does it matter most to? Impressing the other guy/gal or something you truly enjoy to the extent of the price tag?
Perhaps I do not possess the need to be associated with some high fashion brand or exclusive logo because my identity was established more than 2,000 years ago. You see, my identity is in Jesus Christ. I do not turn to the things of this world to fill an inner craving of acceptance because Jesus paid the price on Calvary when He purchased my salvation and wholeness.
One day the things of this world will be no more. Rather than focus on the trappings of this world, I set my hope and faith on things that will outlast this temporary existence.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21
If I strive to be accepted by society via Coach, Rolex, Mercedes, a McMansion, etc., what does that say about me? If they let me in their “club”, would that bring happiness? We are pilgrims, my friend … just passing through. This world is not our final destination. Do not set your affections on the things you see here. We have an eternal home that will far surpass anything we’ve yet seen!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2
To be sure, quality items are pleasurable and acceptable. They just don’t captivate my heart. My heart is set on things above. And my focus is on bringing as many to heaven with me as possible. You see when we’re caught up in replicating the culture of this world and fulfilling some need for social acceptance, our focus is often distracted from winning the lost. It’s not about us anyway. It’s all about Jesus, the One who took our place on Golgotha’s Hill, so that we may live eternally with Him! That’s where my hope lies! What say you?