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Does my stuff own me?

Archbishop Thomas J. Murphey (1932-1997) once asked, “What do I own and what owns me?” Consider the last question, “What owns me?” Let me give you an example. When our son was born we were driving a small four door sedan. After a few months we began saying, this is too crowed, an air bag is safer, and numerous other things to justify a different vehicle because we “needed it”. So we went to an auto dealership and signed up for a white mini van. Yes I know we entered Lameville with that purchase but the SUV we wanted was about $5,000 more. We took up permanent residence in Lameville by purchasing a red mini van in February; now we have two. Seriously lamenow. But that aside, the original white van purchase was a descent purchase but with it came payments which were no big deal for awhile. But those payments took away our ability to do other things we could have or should have done. In business it is called opportunity cost. While there was nothing evil or bad about the purchase, it took away our freedom to do something else. That thing/decision in essence, owned us. Look at your life and ask what owns me? It may not be a purchase as in my example, but it could be a job, relationship, or lifestyle. It is catastrophic how much consumerism drives us. Matter of fact, in 1960 the average consumer would be exposed to 564 advertisements per day via television, radio, magazines, billboards etc. In 2000, that number ballooned to 3,500 advertisements per day in all forms. Now those numbers may exaggerated, but cut the numbers in half and it is still tremendous. The ads seen surfing the internet alone is staggering. At every turn one cannot get away from being sold something that will make us stronger, skinnier, more popular, safer, etc etc. And, all of these things are very good. God would not have blessed us with all the good stuff in this world if he did not want us to partake in it. However, to live as a steward is to detach ones self from all these things. At the end of the day it is just a car, a mechanism to get from point A to B. It is just a house, home is where your heart is. Is it wrong to buy a nice home and fill it with nice things? No! Provided we see it through the God’s glasses. All this stuff has its place in our lives. It is wrong to indulge in worldly things and put God lower on our list. God has given so much, give back a piece of it, a piece of you. Then go on that vacation or purchase that thing and enjoy his creation.

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