January 19, 2010

"Meaningless Material"

Why do the "common" people want autographs from the "famous" people? What good does an autograph do? If you get a T-shirt signed it will eventually wear off. If you get a program, ticket, or random piece of paper signed, it will collect dust in a drawer, on a dresser, or in a closet. You might be thinking, "That's not what happens to my autographs." "I have a collection of autographed memorabilia in my house." "I sell my autographs on eBay, and make money off of them." So what happens after we get an autograph? I mentioned it does nothing and collects dust, we create a collection/shrine of them, or we sell them and get something that is actually useful to humans, which is money. What I'm trying to get at is that autographs are worthless. If they sit around and collect dust, then I think I've made my point on that one. If you create a collection/shrine then what are you getting out of that? Something to show off or boast about to your friends and family. Something that you truly treasure, and becomes an idol in your life. Two different types of sin, take your pick, it doesn't matter they are both sin, so there is no escaping that one. If you get an autograph and immediately sell it on eBay, then i guess it's not important enough to you in the first place to actually keep, so you exchange it for money. Money can be good, because we all need money to live and get by, but how much money do we need and how much do we just want for our own personal spending. With all that extra money, what are we gonna do with it? Are we gonna give it to charities, churches, hospitals, schools, Haiti, or other worth-while causes? Or are we just gonna go buy more stuff that is gonna sit around and collect dust?
We love stuff and material possessions even though we don't really get anything out of them. Think about the things you have bought lately, or things that you are thinking about buying, or things that you wish you could buy but will never have the money to. Ask yourself, what percentage of those things do you use on a regular basis and what percentage gets put up on a shelf, slid under the bed, put in a closet, stuck in a box, or put somewhere on display only to look at for as long as you live. For the Christians, some good questions to ask before making a purchase could be; How is this going to help me or others grow closer to God? How will this benefit the kingdom of God? How will this edify God or is it even possible to bring glory to God through this purchase? Can I even use this object or is this something that can only be put on display so others to admire my neat toys?
We need to conscientiously ask ourselves these types of questions before we buy things on the fly. We need to be more discerning with our purchases. I don't say these things because this is what I do already, but I write this because I NEED to start doing these things in my own life. I'm too careless with my money, and as a Christian I feel like I am called to manage my money to the glory of God, and keep myself from falling into sin. For instance, I mentioned idolatry and pride earlier. We need to identify specific sins in our lives, classify those sins specifically, and find ways to eliminate them from our lives. If we don't throw them out the door now, then God will deal with them on his own terms.
What things are we treasuring in our lives? What do we get excited about buying next and why do we get excited about buying that specific item? Is God what we are treasuring? Are we excited to buy a brand new pair of shoes when you just bought a new pair last week? Are we seeking to try and bring joy to ourselves through our spending, or are we going to bring glory to God through our spending?
If you are having some tough times dealing with some of these questions because you are trying to justify your material possessions, and your spending, then maybe this is an idol in your life. We don't like to hear the truth sometimes, because we are scared what's going to happen if we give up our idols. I'll tell you what is going to happen; God is going to strip you of your idols and leave a huge hole in your life... but he won't leave the wound without a bandage. He will fill it with himself, and provide true happiness in a life that was formerly corked up with false joy.

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