What Really Matters

The prevailing message of the advertising industry is to get more stuff, bigger stuff, faster stuff, fancier stuff and more expensive stuff. So we work harder, climb the ladder, take on second jobs, push into overtime and break our backs to buy more stuff. And what is the result? More stuff and nicer stuff? Yes, perhaps.

But is that all? No it isn’t. There’s something else they don’t tell you. When you get all this stuff, you also get more of something else. You get more stress and more trouble. And that’s no fun.

Consider these important thoughts from the Old Testament wisdom book of Proverbs.

  • Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. (Prov. 15:16-17)
  • Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife. (Prov. 17:1)

These are verses that I meditate on. And when I do, I like to make my own translation. This helps me apply these principles to my life today in 21st century America. My expanded personal translations are something like this:

  • It is much better to fear the Lord than to have a lot of money and be stressed out. And it is much better to eat oatmeal for breakfast and rice and beans for supper, and have a great time with my family at mealtime, than it is to eat the best cuts of steak and buy premium, brand-name groceries, while having arguments with my spouse and children over multiplied charges and growing credit card balances.
  • It is much better to eat a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich in a quiet, peaceful house, than it is to stock my refrigerator, freezer and pantry with all kinds of bulk premium foods and have perpetual tension with my family members over money and ‘stuff’ issues.

As you check your standard of living, spending habits and future goals, do you find yourself experiencing stress, anxiety and trouble? Are your family relationships suffering? Are your credit card bills increasing? Are you struggling to be content?

If so, ask the Lord for wisdom. Find ways to simplify your spending habits. (If you want some recommendations of things that work for me and my family in a specific budget or expense category, let me know. I’d be glad to share some suggestions!)

Ignore the advertisements that harass you and look past the neighbors next door who always seem to be a step ahead of you in the ‘stuff’ department. Be content with a little, enjoy the peace of financial simplicity and freedom and focus on building strong, trusting relationships with those you love.

Ultimately, if you have Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you have all you need. Anything else is a bonus.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb. 13:5)

 

2 replies
  1. Israel Rosario
    Israel Rosario says:

    Great post about what really is important. I always ask myself,how much is really enough?
    In Christ,brother Israel.

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