For me, I see:
* Three bookcases, crammed full of books.
* Four large stacks of old magazines and catalogs.
* Six boxes full of books that don’t have bookshelves to be placed on.
* One electric, purple mini-fan on my desk.
* One lovely desk lamp.
* One brand new box of tissues.
* One (broken) DELL laptop sitting on top of a shoe box crammed full of blank miscellaneous greeting cards.
* A cork board and a white board on the wall over my desk.
* A lovely, modern glass desk.
* A printer, digital camera, two flash drives, a FLIP camera, a cordless phone, and a cell phone.
* There are some photo albums in the corner (yes, in a box).
* The floor is carpeted, and the windows have blinds on them.
* There is a treadmill behind me.
* Two recliners.
* A walnut occasional table.
* A rocking chair.
* A rack full of CDs.
* A fireplace with shelves full of DVDs.
* A 50″ plasma TV on my wall.
* A BOSE 3-2-1.
* A couple of throw blankets.
* A can of deck stain.
* Three (very stinky) dogs.
I’m not telling you all this to boast – far from it. The point is, we live in a world full of STUFF. Oh to me it’s all important. But is it….really?
Just this one room in my house contains more stuff than the majority of families in Central or South America, India, China, Korea, or Eastern Europe will own in their entire lives. Not to mention all the cash that went into buying all this stuff.
In a quick internet search, I discovered that we spent more money on finishing our basement than the average household in 146 countries will make in a year! (check out THIS website to see how you rate) When I think that we could have used that money to help several needy families it makes me want to cry.
We spend more money a year on dog food and dog treats than some families have to spend on food for their children. I’m embarrassed by that.
I say all of this not to discourage you, but to encourage you to take a look around your own house (and life). What do you have that you could do without? What do you have that you don’t use anymore? What do you own that you don’t need?
“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
We live lives of excess. We’re constantly bombarded with a message that says all the stuff in our lives isn’t good enough – we need bigger, better, newer, shiny-r, and more than what we’ve already got. But the truth is – we don’t.
We don’t need that new car…but we want it. We don’t need that new dress…but we want it. We don’t need that new boat…but we want it. We don’t need that new pair of shoes…but we want it. We don’t need that new _______(you fill in the blank)…but we sure do want it.
Just because we can afford it (or the payments) doesn’t mean we should have it.
Think about what that money could do for someone else. Think about how you could change someone else’s life significantly if you decide not to buy that brand new COACH bag, and instead sent the money to Compassion International (or another reputable charitable organization).
“Command those who are rich in this present world [that’s you] not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
As we prepare for the upcoming Christmas season – a season that encourages us to live life in excess – consider spending less on ourselves, and giving more to others.