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The world that we live in believes in consumerism. Every store, supermarket, and shopping mall designs lucrative offers that will boost up their sales and attract us to buy (even though we do not need it). It makes it harder for us to control our spending habit. We buy something because it’s cheap, because it’s a good deal, not because we need it. We probably will put it in our drawer for months. After some time, we even forget that we have it.

Consumerism has affected human civilization so much so that it causes us to be in bad debts. We collected bad debts over the years on our credit cards, mortgages, and loans. We force ourselves to buy something that we can’t actually afford, just because we want to look good. We want to impress people, without measuring our financial capability. Watch out for the lust of the eyes, thoughts that say, “It will look good on me. I wish I have it. I must have it, and I must have it NOW!”

A classic example will be buying a bigger TV, a bigger car, a bigger house. If we look at women in general, no matter how many hundred of shoes they already have in their closet, they will still hunt for more. If we look at men in general, no matter how sophisticated their gadgets already are, they will still eye on the newer versions, the more advanced ones. More clothes, more jewelleries, more accessories, more fine-dining, more entertainment, more luxuries… This is human, who doesn’t know how to be satisfied.

What do we do as believers? We must not just ignorantly follow the world. We should be smarter than the system of the world, because the wisdom of God is with us. How to make sure we are not trapped in consumerism?

  1. Be discipline. Buy what you NEED, not what you WANT. What you need is a NECCESSITY, what you want is a LUXURY. Even if you are rich and you can afford it, think again; is it necessary for you to have it; does it have eternal value if you have it?
  2. Have a saving. Fools consume all that they have without saving it for tomorrow. When you save, it doesn’t mean that you worry about tomorrow. There’s a difference between saving for tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow. Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is a desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.”
  3. Have a plan to leave good things behind. As written in Proverbs 13:22a, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” It doesn’t say that a good man should leave debts for his descendants to settle.
  4. Learn from the ants, in order to be wise. Why ants? Because they gather food in the harvest, and prepare themselves for the dry season. Ants don’t consume all that they have today. They save it in their colony. In the time of draught, when there’s no food outside, they have a saving inside.
  5. Learn from Joseph, who set aside 20% from the harvest every year during the 7 abundant years. Then during the 7 years of famine, God could use him to bless many nations. If he didn’t have a saving, God wouldn’t be able to use him to bless others.

The choice is yours, whether you want to follow the way of the world or God’s way. I truly hope you will make a good choice. Be a good steward of the financial blessing that God already entrusts into your hands. Don’t just think of wanting more. If you are faithful in the little things that you have now, God will entrust you with bigger things later. The problem is not on your income, it is on how you spend it. Amen! (DC)

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