The allure of shopping and consumerism has blinded millions of people. Many think more money or more stuff will make them happier. They always have to have the latest model, the newest car, the hottest fashions, or the biggest house they can afford. Advertisements tell us every day that we are missing out if we don’t have the things they’re selling. They bombard us with images of all the things we “need” to make us happy. We’re told that if we’ll just buy this gadget or these clothes we’ll be more popular, get more friends, have an easier life, or just feel better about ourselves.
We’ve even been taught that our role in society is to be consumers – consumers of stuff. We’re supposed to work hard so we can buy more stuff. The more stuff we have, the happier we’ll be. And if we work hard enough and save up, we’ll get to a point where we don’t have to work any more but we can keep buying stuff. We’ll be able to spend all our time buying stuff or doing things that will really make us happy. Much happier than we were when we were working so hard before…
This is just one of the many messages from The World that flies smack in the face of The Message that God has been trying to tell us for thousands of years. Jesus speaks directly to those who believe the world’s message in Revelation 3:17-18.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
Revelation 3:17-18 (WEB)
The World tries to tell us that if we just acquire more wealth & things, then we won’t need anything else – we’ll be satisfied and secure. But the truth is that the more we get the more we’ll want. The World can not offer us any true satisfaction or security. It’s a false hope to think that a bigger bank account will make you happier or more fulfilled. Jesus already knows The World can’t satisfy us, and that we’ll actually be pitiful, poor, blind, and naked if we listen to The World’s message. Only God can provide us with true wealth and open our eyes so we can see the truth.
God has a higher purpose for us than riches far beyond our needs and 6,000 square foot homes. God wants more meaning in our lives than a brand new luxury car in the driveway and a shiny yacht next to the dock. God has a higher calling for our retirement years than fruitless day after fruitless day spent on the golf course, beach, or back porch.
There’s a major problem with The World’s message – specifically in that it contradicts God’s Message. We’ll talk more about why The World’s message is a problem in the next part of this series.
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