Thursday, June 19, 2014

{Limitless Life} From Consumer to Contributor

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I spent a lot of my life obsessed with materialism. It took me a long time to even realize it was a problem. I thought you were only materialistic if you had to have the best, biggest and newest. I would never dream of paying $200 for a pair of jeans, so I thought I wasn't materialistic at all.

Turns out that was not the case at all. I was extremely materialistic, just in ways that I didn't recognize. If I wanted a new book, I got it. If I wanted ice cream after dinner I got it. If I wanted to buy three cups of coffee in one day, it was no big deal. You get the picture. I didn't buy extravagant things, nonetheless, I bought things often. In addition, it depressed me when I did not get things.

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I had a problem. It wasn't until I was married, had our daughter and began living on a one-income budget so I could be a stay-at-home mom did I realize just how much money I actually spent. Something needed to change. I was a consumer and I was consuming too much.

Jesus wants us to grow from being consumers to become contributors. When He taught His early disciples to pray, He was teaching them how to move from being consumers to becoming contributors to His kingdom. ~Derwin Gray, Limitless Life, p138

In the regard of consumerism, I realized I was very immature. I had no self-control. My actions and my mood were dictated by what I could or could not have. That was not the life that God wanted for me, He didn't want me to be limited...He wanted me to be free.

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It took a long time to break free of consumerism. Honestly, I still struggle with it. I still want things, but I do not allow it to control me anymore. I am content with the things I have and I am learning to let go of things I don't as well as things I don't need or use anymore. Slowly I am able to turn my hoarding habit into a freedom from possessions.

I thank God for the change. I know I could not have done it on my own. I do not have the strength; thankfully, He has plenty to spare. I am learning how to be Jesus' disciple and pray instead of want. When I am overcome with consumer thoughts, I stop and pray. I thank God for what I have and pray for those who have so much less. It is amazing how perspective can change my attitude in a moment. I am in awe at how God can grant me the perspective to want to change. I thank Him and I want to be a contributor for His kingdom. I am ready to transform from a consumer to a contributor.

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This article is inspired by a Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries 
while reading Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray.

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

4 comments:

  1. Amanda, I am right there with you girl! I too do not buy expensive stuff, but I sure buy a lot! And I buy it when I want it! Like now! It is so hard to let that habit go, but with time I feel that I too will be able to change my attitude from consumer to contributor! Thanks for the post!

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  2. Open honesty, love it...we are all a work in progress. God knows oir hearts and where He wants us to be. We are on one huge learning curve. Selfishness rears its ugly head in different ways, not only the materialistic stuff...its difficult changing our cushy lives and mindset. Christ addressed that to the rich man, to sell all His belongings and follow Him. I often asked myself, what would I do if I was told to do that now...I am glad to say, I would...a couple if years back and my response would be different. I've grown...would not like to be like Lot's wife and turn into a pillar of salt either. I look at it this way now...and you should too. Build up your treasures in heavenly places...where moth and rust can't destroy. Praying for you...blessings!

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  3. Amanda love your testimony. I've been there, done that and learned I don't have to shop and I can even go shopping with someone and not spend a penny. FREEDOM! Thanks so much for sharing these truths. Debbie W. (Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team)

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  4. Amanda,
    I have struggle with consumerism, as well! I had to stop and take stock of just what I was doing both to my own finances and the terrible example I was setting for my kids. Praise God, He was willing to work with me and allow me to feel some pain to see just what I was doing. Thank you for sharing your story so transparently! And, I loved that last quote about richness!
    Sandi Brewer, Proverbs 31 OBS Ministry Team

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