Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Owning Less is Great; Wanting Less is Better!

The Willis Family has a new television show on TLC right after the Duggar's show. This family has twelve children. The father comes from a very large family and lost six of his siblings in a fiery car crash when he was younger. They show the church with the six white coffins in it. I can't imagine losing and trying to get over losing six children.

Both he and his wife came from large families so they decided to have twelve children before they were married! They bought a 100-year old home in Tennessee out in the country. They wanted to get their children out of the city and into the country. During one Christmas, when the electricity had been out in their valley for several days, they decided to take the whole family to a movie theater. When they returned home, their home was a huge bonfire and they lost every single thing they owned. A huge power surge had started the fire. The mother said she has never been able to shed a tear over it because it was NOTHING compared to what her mother-in-law had endured. Some of the children spoke and said that things are nothing compared to human beings and all of them were safe.

Perspective is everything. I am sure they mourned the loss of their pictures, all their musical instruments, etc. but they knew all of those weren't all that important in the long run. Human life is what is important.

It's way too easy to value stuff over people and make things an idol. Most people continue to buy things even though they have plenty. Women are good at buying their 20th pair of shoes, a 50th shirt, etc. Men buy bigger and better cars, multiple TVs for their home and other things they don't need. What causes us to buy WAY more than we need? Why is never what we have enough? What lie have we believed that new and more is better? Why is it so hard to be content with what we have?

We are looking for fulfillment and satisfaction through things instead of relationships. You can tell this it true by how many lonely people there are today. Depression is skyrocketing and even suicide. God created us for relationship, not things. Yes, our basic needs should be met and it's fine to have some nice things that we enjoy, but not when it becomes excessive, wasteful, and prevents us from helping others as we should. If we continue looking for fulfillment and satisfaction through things, we'll never have enough.

We've believed the lie that "if only we get this one thing we really want, we'll be happy." Being in relationship with others and with God brings joy and happiness, nothing else. Things get old, break and end up in a garbage dump. Yes, people get old and break but end up spending eternity somewhere, whether they are believers or not. We are eternal.

 We fail to look at all the ways we have been blessed in this life and all the promises we have in Christ and instead, focus upon what we don't have and want. We look up the ladder at those we perceive to have it "better" than us when we need to be looking down the ladder at those less fortunate; be generous to them if you can and count your many blessings. We will always be better off than someone out there. If we have all of our needs met and have Jesus, we have all that we need since He is our Provider and Protector.

Therefore, next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. Remind yourself that it won't bring the long-term joy and satisfaction that you are looking for if you are spending excessively. Be wise in your spending habits, train yourself to want less, and remind yourself that "godliness with contentment is GREAT gain!" 1 Timothy 6:6