Last week, we featured a post from Rebeka Fry at her 'Redefining Femininity' blog on "The Heart of Materialism". Since then she has posted another excellent and thought provoking post titled "It Makes Me Happy," in which she shares thoughts on the false promises, common or inherent, to a materialistic worldview.
It Makes Me Happy
While the initial purchase an item may instigate a trifling feeling of pleasure, does our stuff really make us happy?“The incredible rise in living standards for
the majority of Americans and Western Europeans has made them more
affluent, healthier, more comfortable, more free, and
sovereign over ever taller piles of stuff –
but has not made them any happier.”
~ Gregg Easterbrook ~
Certainly there’s nothing wrong with enjoying new things. But like the spoiled brat who surveys his vast collection of presents and screams out the one thing on his Christmas list he didn’t get, the more and more we look for pleasure in material objects, the more we will lack and our true joy will be sabotaged by the pithy things of the world.
Purchase only breeds desire for another purchase. Browse through the mall and the eyes covet the dress. The dress is bought and covetousness calls for leggings. Having purchased the leggings, desire demands the shoes. The chucks are in the bag and the craving for new jewelry sets in (and on and on the cycle goes). Just as the addict can’t resist the drug, indulging in his destructive impulses while soothing himself with the all-comforting phrase of “just once more”, attaining more stuff can become an intoxicating poison, demanding greater “stuff highs.”
The root of covetousness – discontentment with what God, by His grace, has provided for us – is what forges this chain around our souls. Discontentment propagates the lie that happiness is just within the next purchase, always blithely dangling the carrot for which we strive and push to get, yet never attain. When we seek happiness in earthly trinkets, we find no amount of it to satisfy our desire. Life becomes earthbound and unfulfilled. But as we replace our passing joy in the things of the world and trade it in for lasting joy in the treasures of heaven, we will find that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Many thanks to Rebeka for that challenge!