Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.
- Proverbs 27:23-27
“In 1900 the average person living in the United States wanted seventy-two different things and considered eighteen of them essential. Today the average person wants five hundred things and considers one hundred of them essential.
“Our obsession with stuff carries a hefty price tag. Eighty percent of us battle the pressure of overdue bills. We spend 110 percent of our disposable income trying to manage debt. And who can keep up? We no longer measure ourselves against the Joneses next door but against the star on the screen or the stud on the magazine cover. Hollywood’s diamonds make yours look like a gumball-machine toy. Who can satisfy Madison Avenue? No one can. For that reason Jesus warns, ‘Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed’ (Luke 12:15).”
- Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life
I would love to tell you that I have this one all figured out. It took us my entire working life to get out of debt, just in time to be laid off. We were smart about most things. My wife swore that she did not need a microwave oven, but then she got a job and the microwave became essential – a fast meal. Now, the microwave is probably one of those things that Lucado talked about not being able to live without. Yet, each of our boys have learned how to live without one for extended periods of time.
In the Scripture above, it talks of riches and the crown not lasting forever, but God will ensure that the lambs will provide clothing and the goats will provide milk – if we tend our flocks.
Do my wife and I have too much stuff? Absolutely, and our boys think of it as garbage. It seems neither of them have a sentimental bone in their bodies. When you show them something that they made thirty or forty years ago, they look at how it could have been made better or they simply want you to remove that disgusting thing from their sight. Thus, we have nothing, but our memories – that are fading – and junk.
And now, the environmental laws are getting to be so crazy that you cannot legally get rid of a lot of the garbage. You cannot throw electronic items away. You cannot through batteries away. There are restrictions on anything containing glass. What next?
I guess I am writing to say that if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
Trust in the Lord. God will see you through those rough spots, and you will become stronger in the process.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.