“No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and ‘Consumerism’.” Matthew 6:24
Consumerism is the “god” of our age! We live in a materialistic world where productivity, accumulation, and consumption have taken over every dimension of our lives. We are bombarded with advertisements tempting us to find fulfillment in products that promise what they cannot deliver — security, status, happiness, relationship, and more. The spirit of consumerism demands we pay homage to him bringing offerings of busyness and buying.
Jesus reminds us that we cannot serve consumerism while at the same time serving God. We have to make a conscious choice. Choosing righteousness and the Kingdom of God means that we must turn away from the altar of consumerism and worship only God.
One way to slay the spirit of consumerism is to purposefully choose to “live simply.” What is “simple living” and how does is break the spirit of consumerism?
Simple living is nothing more and nothing less than living in a way that chooses to be outwardly simple in order to live rich inwardly. It’s making the choice to focus on contentment, spirituality, and relationships rather than consumption, materialism, and self-centeredness.
Living simply is a spiritual discipline that emphasizes the values of our Lord Jesus Christ — time for God and one another, serving one another, sharing with each other. It is living intentionally … or on purpose … giving priority to the life of following Jesus and expressing the Kingdom of God. Simple living is a prophetic witness that challenges the god of this world through “conspicuous non-consumption.”
What changes can you make to live more simply? How does your schedule need to change to make more room (i.e. create margin) for time alone with God, opportunity for fellowship in a small group, etc.? How can you streamline your expenses so that you can tithe to your church, save for irregular expenses, pay cash for your vacation, provide for your family, and give generously to others?
Are you willing to take the necessary steps to break the spirit of consumerism and to serve God only? Will you choose to live with margin — in your time and treasures — in order to live on mission?