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