Are you satisfied with what you own? If not, then you’re not alone.
Many Americans are growing more discontent with what they own. The desire to accumulate things has been prevalent in the U.S. since the birth of the country, but it’s reached a new milestone.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Americans have accumulated “the most outstanding revolving debt — often summarized as debt on credit cards — in U.S. history.” One reason the U.S. has experienced an uptick in credit card spending is the number of “rewards” credit card companies provide their cardholders. While people are being encouraged to use their credit card to make purchases, many people are not paying off their balances at the end of the month.
The underpinning of this accumulation of debt and stuff are materialism. In general, materialism is the desire to accumulate more things. Unlike food, the appetite of materialism can never be satisfied. It will always lead you to want more.
- Do you need help controlling your spending?
- Do you desire to live a more content life?
- Do you want to break the chains of materialism?
If so, the first step we suggest for you to take is to give.
Giving is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But for many people, this is the best place for them to start.
As a side note, depending on the severity of your condition and situation, you may need to seek professional help. If you think this is the case, then please, fight the fear of condemnation. Reach out for help. You’ll be thankful you did.
When it comes to getting control of your spending, living a content life, and breaking the chains of materialism, there are three reasons why giving will help you in all three of these areas or just one, and here they are.
#1. Giving affirms your trust in the Lord
The Lord is your provider.
From the air you breathe to the money you make, the Lord provides what you need to live your life and earn a living. In other words, our entire life is on loan from the Lord. In the words of Paul to Timothy, “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Tim. 6:7).
As we give, we break our need to accumulate more. Giving helps us to appreciate what have and what we earn.
Giving one time may not break your desire for more once and for all. But it will, over time, slowly loosen the grips of materialism upon your life.
#2. Giving will lead you to find fulfillment in Christ
Giving will move you away from finding temporary satisfaction in what you accumulate to finding eternal delight in Christ. The act of giving is a tangible way of saying, “I am not placing my trust in my money and what this can buy for me. I am putting my trust in the Lord.”
#3. Giving decreases your desire to accumulate more
When you give, you will not have as much money to spend or pay for monthly credit card fees. And in giving, the Lord will give you grace to do so (2 Cor. 8). His grace will not only help you to give, but he will help you to reprioritize your life and your spending habits.
Giving is an essential first step for you take in breaking the chains of materialism in your life.
In the end, if you are having financial problems, we also want to emphasize the importance of receiving counsel from your pastor, advice from a certified financial advisor, and support from the members of your local church. You are not alone. Be encouraged, and filled with hope in Christ. Many people are willing to help you redeem your situation.
In his letter to the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul shares the secret to being content: “I have learned to be content no matter what happens to me.I know what it’s like not to have what I need. I also know what it’s like to have more than I need. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough. I can do everything by the power of Christ. He gives me strength.”
- (Philippians 4:11–13)
How has giving helped you to avoid the temptations of materialism?Share your experience in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!