Have you ever absent mindedly scrolled through your Facebook news feed only to suddenly have something reach out and grab your attention? One such post for me was a quote 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! Talk about perspective! It caught my eye as the screen was scrolling by, and I had to back up to make sure I had read it correctly. This is worth another WOW!
I couldn’t help but reflect over my life and the impressions I have had through out my life of what I needed to buy in order to obtain my American Dream. Then I realized that maybe deep down I had already realized this because over the last couple of years my priorities have shifted. My ideas of what we (the husband, our son, and I) actually need, as opposed to what would be nice, have gone through a drastic change.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. – Matthew 6:18-20
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?
Perhaps we are looking for approval, possibly from a parent or loved one. We are hoping beyond hope that the stuff we have acquired will make them proud of us and our successes. All of the stuff we are buying is to show how well we are doing 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.
Perhaps we 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 think that 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 friendship revolution instead and try to top each other with acts of kindness, not the brand names of stuff we possess.
Perhaps we are looking for acceptance from our peers and co-workers or maybe our in-laws. For some reason 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, why do we feel we need to prove to others we belong where we are? 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. They just give us even more stuff that we don’t need.
Perhaps we need to figure out why we are filling in the holes in our lives with stuff. Shouldn’t we instead be turning those holes that need to be filled to 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 Heavenly Father, the less incomplete and undeserving I find myself feeling. I am learning to rely on him. This is something that I have to relearn every day, but it is worth it!
As I begin to look to Heaven for the hope I need to in my life I am discovering that I am doing ok. The Lord wants me to come to him in prayer and be like a child telling him all of the trials and tribulations I am having as wells as all the triumphs and successes in my life. He will fill me with all that I need. His gifts to me as his child include wisdom, courage and strength. He is proud of me and he makes me enough just as I am.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing – Zephaniah 3:17 (NRSV)