Satisfied. Is It Morally Okay to Keep Updating My Things?

A Christian household’s standard of living should be noticeably lower than that of other households in the same culture with similar incomes, because the Christian household strives to indulge its own desires less and share with others more.
— C.S. Lewis

Is It Morally Okay to Keep Updating My Things? If you have read Greg Forster’s recent article at TGC regarding this great question, it is definitely worth a read and caused us to take pause and reflect on this question in reflection of what it is asking and how do we respond to it in light of God’s Word.

Materialism is one of the most overlooked sins and biggest struggles in the Christian culture, as noted beautifully by Jerry Bridges in his book , “Respectable Sins”;

“Our materialism is idolatry because it’s taking the place of God. Anything that’s more important than our relationship with God is idolatry. Again, because materialism seems so respectable—I mean, everybody is into the game—you’ve got to have this new car with all the bells and whistles that your old car didn’t have—and these kinds of things.”

So the question asked today, is just a symptom of a heart that is struggling with the message of our culture that it is okay - and even - normal to keep upgrading (even in our churches) vs what does God say about this longing for more?

Pastor Todd Wagner came up with a great wisdom list on this topic of questions to ask yourself if you are asking if your motivations are in the right place with your spending.

You might be consumed by money and materialism if:

• You won't study God's word to find instruction on how to handle material possessions.

• You do not regularly sit still before the Lord asking Him to reveal to you any area of compromise related to your attitudes about and actions with money and possessions.

• You acquire things because they make you happy or bring you comfort.

• It is hard for you to enjoy what you have because you are afraid it is going to get 'worn out', damaged, stained, dinged or lost.

• You find yourself stressed about what you have and have a difficult time allowing others to use "your" things.

• You focus on what others have more than on what God has already given you.

• You cannot clearly share your current financial positions.

• You refuse to discuss practical details about your financial situation with others.

• You have never determined a level that once you have reached it everything else is going to be given to further the Lord's glory and name.

• You think of yourself more as a consumer than a conduit.

• You have never experienced freedom and joy in giving.

• You have accumulated debt for something other than food for today, clothes for today, adequate shelter for today.

• You live in a nicer house or drive a nicer car than you think your church should build or a ministry should purchase.

• You lack contentment and an attitude of thanksgiving for all that you already possess.

• You wouldn't sell all your possessions and follow Christ if He asked you. (rich young ruler)

After pondering the questions above, we will always point you back to the ultimate answer guide for your questions: God’s Word:

Ecclesiastes 4:4 - Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless like chasing the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 - One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

Phil.4:11-12 - For I have LEARNED to be content in whatever circumstance I am. I know how to get along in humble means, and how to live in prosperity

1 Timothy 6:6-8 - But Godliness with CONTENTMENT is great gain. After all, we didn't bring anything into this world, and we certainly cannot take anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

2 Corinthians 9:7 - Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

We wish we could know the motivation of your question, your heart, your financial situation and give you the perfect answer, but this we know is true: God wants all of your heart. He wants you to see your finances as His finances, to which you are merely the steward. He wants you to wake up asking how much can you give to others not give to yourself. He wants you to realize the next best thing in this world will never satisfy You the way He will.