Christ and the Consumer.
by Nick Bishop
In 2018 we live in a very materialistic society where we as the consumers are expected to partake of the many things that are thrust in front of us on a daily basis.
Advertisements on television, radio, billboards and our electronic devices constantly bombard us with images of things we should have, but do we really need them? Images like the latest cars, clothes, smartphones etc implore us to part with our money in order to obtain them and keep up with the Joneses as it were.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with purchasing goods and even the odd treat. Christians like anyone else have to navigate through this world of materialism but this doesn’t mean we have to dance to the beat of consumerism.
Extreme consumerism can brainwash us into obtaining things we don’t really need and those on a low income can easily get into debt and before long in deep financial trouble. Even those with a good income, who can afford more than the average Joe, can find themselves in debt and into a spiral of obtaining things, often just for show.
Consumerism to a large extent is about self and hedonism – the very opposite of what Christ teaches us. Its philosophy is all about the here and now and purchasing products while you still have breath in your body. Consumerism lacks compassion, and where the needs of the many are forgotten, to the needs of the self.
Even in Christ’s day, materialism and the gulf between the rich and the poor were as obvious as they are now. Jesus made his views about materialism and what the man-made world considers success very clear in Mark 10:17-25. Also, he said in Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also”. Christs advise is as real now as it was 2000 years ago, and perhaps even more so today.
The way of Jesus is not the way of the world and as Christians, we would do well to remember this. Finally, advice on consumerism and debt can be found on CAP’s website (Christians Against Poverty).
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