Materialism and Jesus

I woke up this morning to a small dusting of snow on the roads. My wife went to work, and I cleaned the house. The best way to clean is listening to podcasts, in my opinion. My podcast of choice was Timothy Keller: Treasure vs. Money.  His analysis of our materialistic inclinations as Americans was quite astounding. Definitely worth a listen.

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My life is at a weird point. I am in a job I enjoy for the most part (auto technician) an I am heading up the shop’s social media as well. It is a cool job description, but still not what my end goal is.

 

I am also dabbling in helping other people grow their business brand. I do not have a whole lot of experience other than my business podcasts and building a small landscaping company that turned a decent profit over the summer. I am essentially learning as I go and seeing what works. Currently I am helping friends and family.

These thoughts brought a lot of insecurity to my soul. Questions ran through my head, wondering if i would be “stuck” at one job, or that I would regret not doing this or that.

It is no coincidence that as I was stressed and frustrated over my lack of “direction” in life, Tim Keller’s voice rang through the house as I was putting away the dishes. His challenge in his message was to reconsider all of your ideas of materialism. Most Americans do not consider themselves materialistic.

This thought challenged me, because I do not consider myself materialistic. But as He spoke and revealed Jesus’ words about money, The Holy Spirit revealed to me my indwelling materialism. What were my end goals for my business? For my job? For my life? Subconsciously it is to make money. Not to glorify God, not to make God look great, but rather to make money so I will not have to work as much. This is materialism.

The thing is, making money and aspiring to make a good living (by american standards) is not a bad thing. If my goal was to make more and work less so that I could serve the Lord in more sacrificial ways, then that is a good God-glorifying goal. But all my heart has been set on is that savings number we are shooting for.

As God checks my heart, it is so freeing to know that God is greater than all these things, and that the Holy Spirit can break down all materialism in our souls. This is so encouraging to me.

Tim Keller – Treasure Vs. Money

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Our Debt-Free Plan For 2016

This point in my and my wife’s life is anything but “normal”.

We got married at 18. We both love the Bible. I completed only one semester in college.

Many would be fine accruing tens of thousands of dollars in dollar-941246_1920.jpgstudent loans (nothing sinful about that) and then find themselves not knowing what they wanted to do for a career.

I didn’t want to do that.

So we did something that was very “un”normal. I finished out my semester, dropped out, and we moved. Now that we’ve become somewhat settled, we’ve got a game plan to pay off all of our debt. Before 2017.

The short of it is $4750 in student loans, (from one semester!) and $3000 from a very helpful family member. So a grand total of $7750 plus interest.

We decided to go with the Debt Snowball approach, meaning pay off the lowest debt first and go from their. The benefit is it creates less people to pay faster, and the satisfaction of knocking out debts one at a time. So we’ll be throwing all our money on the $3000 and doing minimum payments on the student loans.

We’ll be putting a down payment of $1000 towards the first debt. We will still have $1000 left over in savings for any emergency that might crop up at any point.

After budgeting our whole month of march with both of us working, we’ll be making $400 payments on the smaller debt, and $100 payments on the student loans. One great thing we noticed was that we may be able to put as much as $700 towards the first debt. Praise the Lord!

All of this said, if nothing major happens and things go relatively smoothly, we should be debt free by mid-November!

So here’s hoping and praying things go well and I’ll certainly give updates on our journey!

 

 

 

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The Worldview of Materialism (Part 2)

If you haven’t read my previous post, click here.

So who is the only one that can fulfill our need to treasure something?

The answer? The ultimate treasure. And according to scripture, Christ is our ultimate treasure. He’s the only one who we can keep getting more of and never get let down by. Because Christ is infinite, we can never dry up the resource of his love for us. We keep seeking, and he keeps drawing closer (James 4:8).

When we pursue something material for ultimate pleasure, we get let dowbroken-72161n because that thing can’t do it. A new car can’t bring you ultimate pleasure because it’ll still leave you on the side of the road at some point in it’s life. It will break down. A better job can’t bring you ultimate joy because when you make earning money a priority, you’ll never make enough. You’ll always have to pursue something more. You can’t find it in a house because like the car, it will break down too. And we all know when the new iPhone comes out, just wait, another newer and better one will come out again next year!

I have personally struggled with this. I love my old Subaru Outback. At times I’ve idolized it’s practicality that when it breaks down, i feel devastated, i feel as if I’ve lost.

So friends, you’re not alone in stuff-centric america. I have temptations and struggles just like the next person. And i’m constantly striving toward loving Christ more than “things” and seeing Him for who He is: The ultimate treasure.