More, More, More!

Too many toys

Why does everybody always seem to want more?

I keep seeing a TV ad for DISH Network TV.  That’s a satellite television service.  The main focus of their ad is that with DISH, you get more!  More channels, more sports, more movies, more everything.  More for less – they claim to be cheaper than anybody else.

I don’t know about you but I already feel we have too much.  We don’t have cable, or satellite, but there’s already too much to watch.  So why would I want more?

It’s not just with television that people want more.

Over ten years ago, PBS showed a documentary called “Affluenza,” which highlighted this problem.  As we have acquired more and more, so we have needed bigger homes and bigger garages for the overflow of things we’ve acquired.  Typically, houses today are more than double the size they were sixty years ago.

I’m not surprised at the obsession with things.

I know people who have to have the latest electronic gadget or the latest car.  Things are important to them.  So, naturally, they pass on their addiction to their children.

I read a few months ago that, whereas Americans constitute less than 4% of the world’s population, we buy 40% of the world’s toys.  Can you believe that?

Well, yes, I can.  Each time I’m able to be present at one of my grandchildren’s birthday parties, I am reminded of the statistic and feel that my children and their friends are helping to reach that 40%.  Afterwards, I spend days or weeks tripping over the new toys.  I also notice that the children prefer chewing the box, or sucking on my watch or cell phone, to playing with the expensive toys.

We’ve all contributed to the problem.  We’ve all done our bit to advance the Chinese economy and military in the last two decades.  Everybody seems determined to give them total dominance by purchasing more toys – and other things.  Even American flags are made in China!

Think about it for a minute.  Using rough math here, if 4% of the world’s population is consuming 40% of the world’s toys, that means we are buying ten times too much!!!!

And it’s not just toys.  Recent figures showed we throw away roughly 40% of all the food we buy (at a time when one in six Americans doesn’t have enough to eat!).

This is not just a recent phenomenon.  2,000 years ago Jesus Christ said:  “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.”  In the NIV, the same verse is translated:  “15 Then he said to them, “Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  (Luke 12:15).

There are far more important priorities than the acquisition of things.

Jesus Christ Himself taught us what our priorities should be.

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:   “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:   ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’   All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matt 22:35-40)

Our grandchildren already know this.  They would much rather go for a walk with Grandpa than play with their toys!

3 thoughts on “More, More, More!”

  1. Material pursuits, AKA covetousness, has been instilled in man from the beginning of time by the one who lusted after the very throne of God. Things do not fill the hole in our souls, only the Spirit of God will bring satisfaction to one’s life.

  2. The irony is (and I hate irony) we recognize ourselves as Consumers and don’t recognize that we are Consumed by the very things we are acquiring. God has alotted us a certain amount of time to live so we can learn to know Him and develop relationships with each other. Yet, our time is consumed by the management and storage and catagorizing and reselling (to buy more) of the stuff. The entrapment lies in the deception that we have to buy more newest stuff to relate to other people or to be accepted into the Club of Consumerism. The next time I’m compelled to buy something, I think I’ll consider the wisdom of innocence and go suck on some cardboard. JB

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