Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Materialism

One of the most dangerous developments in our modern culture is consumerism. All around us are messages and images about what we should be wanting and why we should be wanting it. Most often, these reasons are because this thing we're supposed to be desiring is a symbol of our success. 

We want bigger houses. We want faster cars. We want designer clothing. We want that Rolex watch. Hell, we want the Mont Blanc pens for when we sign credit buys. And on... and on... and on... 

And above all, we want more money in order to afford these things. Because if we can, we've arrived. We can show the people around us that we're more successful than them. That we have richer lives because of them. 

We make choices based on how much money we can make. Worst of all, we're changing our children into little materialists as well. 

Because hey! If you can afford all those status symbols, you're going to be so happy. Here's the thing, though. Buying expensive things don't make you happy. They give a short buzz. And then it's gone. And then you have to go buy something else to feel it again. I suspect that's why so many people are trapped, neck deep in credit card debts. 

But the thing is... what's it all really for

All this running around, chasing material gain. When you do gain it, what do you win?  

Because I can tell you what you lose. If you're picking for money first, you're missing out on a chance to do what you love. You're missing out on a chance to be happy. Truly happy. To have this core of absolute joy in your life that doesn't go away, no matter what. You might be missing out on a chance to see your children. You're probably losing your health and welfare to stress as we speak. You're probably selling your soul bit by bit in order to afford a little more. 

And your kids are watching/will watch you do this. They'll see this as normal. And when the time comes to make the choices about their lives, they'll put themselves through the meat grinder as well.  

When I look at it like that, materialism just doesn't really seem worth it. Is it to you

Once you answer that question to yourself, you'll find yourself much more able to decide your next steps. Because once you know the true value of money to yourself, it's won't constrain you in your choices. 

And that will make a huge difference once you want to take charge of your life. 



I've fallen into the trap of materialism a long time ago. I want to get out of it, but it's difficult. It means I need to change the way I think about everything I want. 

Please guide me as I find my way towards making the right decisions for my life. Help me to break the chains of consumerism around me. 

Help me to make choices based on what I want, instead of what I'm told I should desire. 

I pray this in Jesus's name. 



Sharon said...

Great Post Misha. I totally agree.

It is amazing to visit third world countries where the people are very happy but have very little. They really do make the most of what they have and appreciate the little things that we take for granted.

Well Done.

Elaine L. Bridge said...

Visiting from A to Z, and am totally thrilled that I found your blog! Great post; I totally agree! May the Lord help us all find our way away from the money master we respond to! Thanks for sharing!

Susan Scott said...

Misha, great post! This is exactly what we teach our kids when we are obsessed with material things. We think it will fill the hole in our hearts or give us more status etc - but, really? I so dislike that word 'should'. We also need to be aware of the influence of media and tell them to go take a hike. Who do they think they are telling me what I 'should' - anything!
Beautiful prayer thank you!

Susan Scott's Soul Stuff

Julie Luek said...

Money the necessary commodity. When I quit my job to write, we sat down and reviewed the budget, getting rid of "fluff" like cable/satellite tv. We have never had a data plan for our phones, much to my kiddos' disappointment. And we don't go out to eat or on vacations much. And don't even get me started about our old cars...

It's a compromise for sure to do without, especially when you have kids and their activities cost, and their AP courses cost, and their prom dresses and college tuition and... and...

But definitely worshipping that alter has its drawbacks on the spirit. Great post again, Misha.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I hope I'm teaching my kids that stuff isn't important. Personally, I only buy jewellery that costs less than £5, and usually it's wooden or beaded, and I buy a lot of my clothes from charity shops which means I can usually pick up something that's relatively unique.

Andrew Leon said...

My brother has always been distressed at my almost complete disregard for money.
My only issue is that I am a collector, but none of that is involved with status.

TaMara Sloan said...

A friend of mine and I were just discussing the other day that society is really doing a disservice to our children through this. So many young people today expect to start their adult lives at the same standard of living as their parents, not realizing that it took their parents years of working to get where they are.

Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I took a class at University about Material Culture which was fascinating. It was an anthropology class and it explained why material items and materialism is so important to human beings. It certainly made me look at objects in a different way, not necessarily as things to be avoided or gotten rid of, but as tools for interacting with the world and other people.

J Keith said...

I try to focus my energy away from materialism and teach my kids to do the same. Things are just things and can never replace spending time with others like family and friends. Things break, things get lost and things lose their appeal over time, relationships with people on the other hand can grow and change, can bend without breaking and can last entire lifetimes.