I love to online shop. I guess you could call it a hobby of mine. But I never buy anything that I need, it is always impulse buys. Like a cute t-shirt, or a really cool notebook, and a lot of makeup that some stranger on YouTube told me I couldn’t live without.
It is just exciting to me, the thrill of online shopping. You find what you want, look around for the best deals, maybe find free shipping (which is better than winning the lottery), and then finally receive that shipping confirmation e-mail! The best part about online shopping though, is no people!!! I don’t have to worry about pushy salesmen or rude cashiers!!
But the problem is, online shopping (no matter how good of a deal or cute of a t-shirt) is a sin in my life (I was starting to type crutch but decided to call it for what it is). It is a vicious cycle of folly. Because things are just things. They lose their value, their use, their excitement. More often than not, 20 minutes after ordering something online I have already found something else I just can’t live without. It is materialism in it’s rawest form.
So many times in Scripture we are warned about greed, lust, and discontentment. The very heart of materialism (at least in my life) is discontentment.
1 Timothy 6:6-9 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
Philippians 4:13 always gets used for sporting events or something challenging. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” What many people neglect to do is actually read the rest of that passage… The verse before it gives it all new meaning
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Paul isn’t saying he can win every ball game or ace every test through Christ who strengthens him. He is saying that through Christ strengthening him, he can be content in every circumstance. The plenty and the hunger, the abundance and the need. He can be brought low, and he can abound…. Through Christ.
My problem with materialism is that things can’t fulfill me like Christ can. If I buy every single thing I could want right now.. I will still be wanting more. I have a thirst that cannot be quenched with stuff, only Christ. And I’m not saying that if I set my focus on Christ that I won’t ever want to buy anything else… but it will seem less trivial.
My mom tagged me in a post on Facebook yesterday, it was a YouTube video of a missionaries wife in Uganda, talking about contentment, money, and things. It really spoke to my heart and made me decide to quit ignoring my materialism and just admit it as a sin. I really encourage you to watch her!
Anyways, that video really just helped put things in perspective for me. I know that if this blog post doesn’t help, that video definitely will!