Keeping up with the Joneses

27 Oct

JonesesI have a confession to make. I used to make a lot less money. I used to dream of the day that I would make more money so I could save more. It always seemed as though I was living paycheck to paycheck. Today, I’m making more money and yet, I’m still living paycheck to paycheck. Why is that?

Without trying to get too bogged down in self-analysis, the simple reason is that I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) discipline myself. As my income increased, my standard of living increased. I wanted things that I saw others have. Granted, we have four kids now – they cost something! (And I am beginning to believe that girls are more expensive than boys.) But isn’t there truth to the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses”?

Bling Covered AlbumnAds on TV and our culture in general encourage this type of thinking. According to them, you have to have the latest, greatest, biggest, coolest, hippest lifestyle available today! And tomorrow, you need more. If you watch any music television, you know you aren’t cool unless you are covered in bling, wear baggy clothes and show your underwear. We should all be driving hummers – the H1 for me – and your car is old if it is over 2 years old. In fact, you can get more car if you lease it because you should always be driving a new car! Everyone has two car payments – it’s no big deal!

Do you see what you are up against? That is why we have to develop the attitude that all the stuff we surround ourselves with is not ours but Gods and that we shouldn’t ask ourself, how much should we give God, but how much of Gods stuff should we keep for ourselves? Consider things with an eternal perspective. Our culture tries to persuade us to gratify ourselves now with no thought to tomorrow. An eternal perspective would have us deny immediate gratification for future rewards.

Moses faced a similar decision. Moses was Pharaoh’s adopted son. He could have a lavish lifestyle. But Moses had an eternal perspective. Read Hebrews 11:24-26. Moses chose to live (and be ill-treated) with his people instead of being called son of Pharaoh’s daughter. By having this eternal perspective, he was used by God in a great way!

Pastor Bart said it on Sunday – “Financial freedom is achieved by becoming a faithful steward. Financial success is achieved by remaining a faithful steward.”

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