Summary: As we discuss spending in this second sermon of the series, we focus on two words "contentment" and "containment."
A. The story is told of two friends bumped into each other one day.
1. One of the men looked so sad and was almost on the verge of tears.
2. The other man asked, “Hey my friend, how come you look like the whole world has caved in?”
3. The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me 50 thousand dollars.”
4. “I’m sorry for your loss, but that’s not all bad, is it?” replied the friend.
5. “Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew kicked-the-bucket and left me 95 thousand dollars, tax-free to boot.”
6. “Again, I’m sorry for your loss, but surely that money is a real blessing!” The friend replied.
7. “On top of all that, last week, my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a million.”
8. “After inheriting all this money, why are you so looking so sad?” asked the friend.
9. The man replied, “Well, sadly, this week no one died and so I have inherited nothing!”
B. Our attitudes about money can be such a challenge for us.
1. How much money is enough? “Just a little bit more” is the mantra of most people.
2. Jesus warned us about this in Luke 12, saying, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Lk. 12:15)
3. But that’s not what the advertisers tell us.
4. Everyday we are bombarded with advertising on billboards, in magazines, on radio and television, and now even on the internet.
6. All of these ads are designed to make us dissatisfied with what we have so we will go buy something new.
7. New cars, new clothes, new electronic devices – and the advertisers insinuate that by buying these things we will have a better life and we will certainly be happy.
8. And we all know how that goes – the newness wears off…the car gets rusty, the clothes wear out, the batteries die, and the newer, better, faster electronics become obsolete within months.
9. Then the cycle starts all over again.
C. One of the more dangerous developments in the last decade or two has been the move by the advertisers to target our kids.
1. Nathan Dungan, president of Share Save Spend, an organization that helps youth and adults “achieve financial sanity” shares the following startling statistics:
a. The average child experiences as many as 3 thousand advertising impressions each day.
b. Children today spend five times more money than their parents did at the same age (and that is adjusted for inflation).
c. Young adults (aged 25-34) are one of the fastest growing age groups filing for bankruptcy.
2. Dungan says that the list of what people believe are their “needs”, verses their “wants” has grown dramatically in recent years.
3. When iPods first came out and appeared on the list of needs, Dungan wonders aloud, “Is an iPod really a need?”
4. The title of one of his books is catchy – “Prodigal Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child’s ATM” (2003).