During my nightly perusing of my Facebook news feed I scrolled past a quote that caught my eye. It was from noted money advice guy Dave Ramsey, and it said, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Wow! It caught my eye as the screen was scrolling by, and I had to back up to make sure I had read it correctly. That is worth another WOW! I couldn’t help but reflect over my life and the impressions I had of what I needed to buy in order to obtain my American Dream. Then I realized that I had already more or less figured this out over the last couple of years and have seen my priorities change, and my ideas of what we actually need, as opposed to what would be nice, have gone through a drastic change.
Magazines and blogs are full of articles on how to organize our stuff. They are also full of articles on how to declutter our stuff. It seems like a vicious cycle. We buy the stuff, we store the stuff, we get overwhelmed by the stuff, we get rid of the stuff, then we replace the stuff with more stuff — what are we really looking for?
Are we looking for approval, possibly from a parent or some other close relative? Hoping beyond hope that the stuff we have acquired would make them proud of us and our successes? Buying stuff to be able to show them how well we have done so that they will realize we are worthy of their affection that we believe is otherwise lacking for us? Trying to perhaps measure up to some imaginable standard that in reality most likely does not exist.
Are we looking for friendship, using the stuff as our “dues” to get into the group we think we most closely identify with? Why do we doubt that the qualifications of our character, intelligence, sense of humor, and compassionate hearts aren’t enough to get and keep friends? Is our society really that fickle that we choose friends based on outward appearances and possessions instead of on what is on the inside? When did the make and model of someone’s car become more important than the knowledge that said friend would come to pick us up if we ever needed to be rescued? Let’s start a Love Revolution instead and try to top each other with acts of kindness, not brands of stuff.
Are we looking for acceptance from our peers or co-workers, perhaps our in-laws, because we are convinced we have to prove we are capable, competent and worthy of what ever position we are holding, be it office worker or wife? Obviously SOMEONE has chosen us, hired us, married us, because they think we fit the bill exactly right. Let’s own that! It’s time to put away the prizes for the best stuff, which gives us more stuff that we don’t need.
Are we filling in the holes in our lives with stuff that we should be filling with a relationship with our God and creator? I can’t answer that for you, but for me I think the answer was and IS a definite YES — human insecurity plagues us and we feel less than. The cures we tend to choose in this broken world are the ones we find here on Planet Earth. However, I am learning that with every step I take to deepen my own personal relationship with our God in Heaven, the less incomplete and undeserving I find myself feeling. Not saying the dark days don’t come to me, because boy do they ever, but I am starting to look to Heaven for the hope I need to realize that I am doing ok, and that I am worthy and enough just the way I am.