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Keeping Up with the Joneses

Just to give you a little backstory, Matt and I have been in a Life Group with some of our church's young adult couples. We are so blessed to be included in this group, as we had been searching for one since we moved from Maysville, Kentucky. The subject of our Life Group for the past few weeks has been from Gary L. Johnson's book Too Much: Living with Less in the Land of More. (Link for book here).

This subject has been weighing heavily on my heart recently.  We live in a world where society tells us we constantly need more.  I have fallen victim to this, as we all have.  For example, I love fashion and design - but instead of chasing world desires of wanting more, I need to be joyful in what I already have.  Telling a girl to stop excessively shopping is a hard thing to do, as I love retail therapy! However, Liz Curtis Higgs, a popular author of women's Bible studies, tweeted a quote from Proverbs 15:16, "It's better to obey the Lord and have only a little, than to be very rich and terribly confused."  While the Bible says that being wealthy is not a sin in itself, the sin transpires when you put your faith in riches instead of the Lord and turn away from generosity.  In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul gave these instructions to Timothy:

"Command those who are rich in this present world 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."

It is so easy to fall into the trap of comparison and the desire to "keep up with the Joneses" over social media.  We scroll through our apps and flip through the television channels, envying those with the newest and greatest things.  There is even an acronym that we use for this very topic - "FOMO" or fear of missing out.  Where is the self-control?  When do we stop surrounding ourselves with fake friends that only drive this comparison and competition? (Don't get me wrong, we are still supposed to love our neighbors and enemies, and pray for those who spitefully use us.)  When do we start desiring to give back, whether to the church or to charity, instead of hoarding our monetary wealth?  

In Johnson's book, he along with God's Word have helped answer these questions with four key principles: gratitude, contentment, trust, and humility.  Take a moment and look around you.  You not only have the basic necessities of food, water, and shelter, but you are living in bounty.  Be grateful and content in all God has blessed you with.  Trust in Him that He will provide for you, and remain humble.  Empty yourself of fame and status, and place others before yourself.  

Here is one of my favorite quotes in this book:

"Money problems are deeply rooted in a heart of pride. Once we realize this truth and we do an about-face, moving into a place of humility, our financial health can begin to improve. It requires a surrendered life to Jesus, staying focused on the destination of humility, and refusing to take the detour towards pride."

These are some things I could improve on. What about you? Let's pray together.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for pouring out the abundant blessings You have given me, Lord. Thank you for providing the simple necessities and extraordinary luxuries in my life, of which I am not worthy.  Forgive me for conforming to worldly sins and desires. Lord, help me be content and grateful in what I already have and trust that You will provide for myself and my family.  Help me to remain humble and have a giving heart, rather than hoarding my wealth.  I love you, Lord, and it's in Your name I pray.

1 comment

  1. Very well spoken! While money is not a sin, the love of money is (when that becomes your god instead of God)!