Summary: We all have lenses we look through but when was the last time we stopped to look at our lenses?
We all have lenses we look through – modern, western world is consumerism and individualism, it hasn’t always been this way. Consumerism is the underlying modern mindset
So what is consumerism ? Consumerism is the equation of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.
It’s messing up with Maslows heirachy of needs.
1) Get a right perspective on ‘stuff’ (vs 25 - 29)
We need to be media savy – The things you own, end up owning you. eg The Simpsons clip - Spinemelter 2000 a couch that promises to fill the empty part of Homers soul that family, religion and community service never could.
Think about your purchases – consider what motivates, what really motivates what you buy, creating an image, hunting for happiness eg buyers remorse
“Consumption is the healer, the entertainer, the lover, the spiritual, the feeder and the consolation. It is the chief rival to God in our culture” Alan Storkey
Consumerism and GFC – do anything, break rules, excessive borrow,
It effects the way we view material things but also our perspective on friends, work, church, everything
2) God wants you to be free (vs 30 – 32)
What is your ‘I will be happy/content when’? eg japan – since WW2 , income has increased x6 (but happiness has not increased)
Relative wealth is what counts; “most people can’t consumer more than most others”
Its not “making ends meet” – look at our wardrobes, pantry, furniture
“To increase capacity for consumption, consumers must never be allowed to rest. They need to be kept forever awake and on the alert, constantly exposed to new temptations and so remain in a state of perpetual suspicion and steady disaffection.” Zygmunt Bauman
Consumerism is exhausting and soul destroying – even secular society recognizes this
eg fight club clip
you have to give up
you have to give up
you have to realise that someday you will die,
until you know that you are useless
i say let me never be complete
i say may i never be content
i say deliver me from swedish furniture
i say deliver me from clever art
i say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth
i say you have to give up
i say evolve, and let the chips
fall where they may
even the world knows that consumerism is not the answer (so why would christians chase after it)
3) Choose Jesus way
He does not want to be one of your ‘best options’ but your only option.
He calls you to stand against consumerism
Mark Sayers says “Today in our secular culture, there are no bigger stories that point to a reality beyond consuming goods and experiences. We are even encouraged to construct our identities from the things that we consume. In the past faith shaped consumerism, today consumerism shapes faith.
Faith gives us resources that point beyond a reality that is only shaped by consumption. As believers we can offer messages of meaning that are not just ruses to sell more stuff. Therefore it essential that we as Christians again need to explore creative ways to live faithful lives in a culture of consumerism.”
What does jesus say – follow my kingdom way, take up your cross
Heb 12 heroes, you wont get everything you desire – Jesus is not your cosmic butler
Don't believe the lies of prosperity gospel - not everyone gets their "best life now"
Gods aim in not to make ‘our dreams come true’ (that was Walt Disney not Jesus) – we join in with his work, he does not invite us to have a kingdom but to join his – our needs, not our wants with be satisified.
Carry your cross – Jesus promises sacrifice and suffering
If you only give to those who will repay you, how are you diff from tax collectors
Not just sell activities to Christians but join mission of God, even when its tough and your tired – not martyr but not a softy.