Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keeping Up With the 'Christian' Joneses

From iPhones to fancy cars, Christians aren't immune to "keeping up with the Joneses."  This spirit of the world has even taken hold of the church.  If one brother or sister has it, then another gets it and pretty soon, it is the thing to do.  The got-to-have-it-now mentality shouldn't be something that Christians practice on a day-to-day basis, but sadly it is growing.  It comes from immaturity, greed and selfishness.  Not being able to save, wait or do without but rather leaning towards impulses and instant gratification is opposite of true maturity.

You wonder sometimes how people in debt, claiming to be Christians, continue to pile up massive amounts of debt in order to display to others a sense of wealth or coolness.  It smacks of high school and the faddish public school system and seemingly a lot of adults can't leave that atmosphere behind them in their youth.  If you are in debt, you shouldn't be buying a house, a car or whatever else, on more debt!  Unless of course you want people to know you are that stupid.  You also shouldn't be having the latest smart-phone, buying new clothes every month and going out to eat every week.  That is the old-school wisdom that is disappearing that we need to bring back!

Christians should lead the way in living debt-free, modestly and displaying the financial principles the Bible teaches.  Recently, we have been looked at as some weird kooks for not having a cell phone, text plan and/or smart phone.  You should see the looks we get when others find out we aren't doing what everyone else is doing.  We learned a few years ago to live debt-free and not have expenses that are not necessary and I'm sorry but a smart-phone is a toy and convenience and is not necessary!  Yet, the ones that look at us so weird are the ones that are in debt, owe a car payment, credit cards, don't even buy their own food or insurance and yet........they have a smart phone!  These same people will in later years blame the church or some in leadership because they have no money to support themselves.  Rather than placing the blame on themselves, where it goes, they live in denial of their slavery to debt and blame others.  

It is time to stop "keeping up with the Joneses" because the Joneses are BROKE!  Start practicing Godly financial wisdom according to the Word of God and don't be slave to a lender, in other words, don't take out debt or live in it.  Trust God to bless you, not the government!  Trust God to feed you, not the hard-working people of America whose taxes you live off of!  Only then, can you open the windows of Heaven and experience a true blessing from God - one that comes from doing things right and defies the spirit of this greed-filled society.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

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15 comments:

Tay said...

Completely agree with you, Bev! I'm seeing it more and more - and yet, these same people are complaining that they can't pay the rent, can't buy food, etc. We also get the shocked looks because we live without all those fancy things and have no debt.

I think a lot of people, including many Christians, are trying to find happiness, success and a feeling of "importance" in material things instead of looking to our Lord and Savior.

Christian Homekeeper said...

It is easy to get caught up in it because I used to be. When I first got saved I was so content with what I had, then came others along buying the fancy stuff. Then came me wanting what they had and a few credit cards later, sickness and medical bills - we were in debt! Thankfully, after hearing the man that started our church talk about debt and finances - we realized we needed to live debt-free and worked our way out. We finally paid off the last medical bill last February and we don't want to go back to that prison of debt.

Thanks for the comment Tay! :)

tealady said...

I must admit that I also had fallen into the trap of money and sometimes have to fight really hard not to fall back into wanting to be the next Jone's.

We(hubby and I) have worked hard to pay things down and keep more money in the bank.It is amazing as to little I miss all the stuff and now I really enjoy saving money in so many different ways.

Christian Homekeeper said...

I feel that way too, I used to spend, spend and spend some more with a credit card. It was so easy to spend that but it is harder to spend cash because you feel it leaving lol. Thanks for the comment tealady! :)

Tricia said...

Hi Bev,

"Weirdos" unite!!! We have been going through a season of things breaking down here. I have been without a dryer for 2 months, the microwave died (good, because I didn't feel safe using it anyway), amongst many other things. You should see the shock on people's faces when they hear I don't have a dryer or microwave, lol! According to them I should run out and buy the best I can immediately!
Besides our mortgage, which is big because of being in the suburbs of Chicago, we don't have any frivolous debt and are darn happy to be that way! Great post I hope many fellow Christians read!

Tricia

Christian Homekeeper said...

Are you calling me a weirdo too? haha ;-) I'm not sure I could go without a dryer but then again, we grew up hanging our clothes on two huge long clothes lines where all the traffic passing by could see. Sure saved a lot of money!

DeNiece Barnes said...

Bev...I totally agree with you on this post...I showed it to may husband and he said that you were absolutely right about everything that you said. We are still paying off debt that we had accumulated because we were trying to also live like the JONESES...But praise God we are almost out of it and we will not be looking back.....Thank you so much for this post I know that it has blessed me seeing it and it will bless others as well....Have a good weekend dear friend...

Christian Homekeeper said...

That is awesome that you are working your way out! It took us about 4 years but we paid off close to $80,000! Thanks DeNiece! :)

Jaleah said...

Just spied your blog for the first time today....great messages. Just a quick comment on the smartphone issue...we use prepaid smartphones. The cost per month avgs. $10...sometimes even less. :-)

Christian Homekeeper said...

Wow Jaleah, never heard of a plan that low, but the main just of my post wasn't against smartphones. I think if you are debt free and have the money, go for it! It is just humorous that a lot of people in debt seems to have a smartphone and think it is a necessity, but all that aside, the post was really concentrating on debt and living within your means. Thanks!

Jaleah said...

I totally got what you were saying. We just like to let people know about the prepaid phones every chance we get! It's a quirk of ours. LOL We're amazed at the number of people we know who spend $100 a month on each of their cell phones.

We're somewhat frugal around this house. I say somewhat b/c my philosophy is more of buy the best you can afford and see how long you can make it last. Plan your purchases wisely. Maybe the cheapest item is the best! Maybe the model costing $100 more will be the better bargain in the long run. I believe it is the Shakers who practice this and believe that a lot of what you buy should be simple and be thought of as a lifetime purchase. I could give specific examples of how we carry this out, but, I don't want to bore your readers!!

Linda said...

Great article on not keeping up with the Joneses. Thankfully we have not been in debt for many years and we definitely endeavor not to get back there. We kept our old phones for a long time on a plan that was reasonable for us (cell phones only, no home phone) since internet is included with our rent. We are pretty frugal and the only reason my husband got a smartphone was because his new boss texts him and sends him out on jobs in different areas all the time and his phone has a GPS. I just upgraded to a texting phone to keep in touch with my family and hubby when I know they are a little too busy to call. My hubby's boss also gives some money to pay for the phone service every month because he texts him daily! God blessed him with that job 5 hours after being laid off of the previous one because my husband refuses to take public assistance unless absolutely necessary. He makes way more now than before, too. GOD IS GOOD!

Christian Homekeeper said...

That is awesome, thanks for the comments ladies! :)

Justyna Milat said...

Pride, vanity and gluttony are the debt culprits. This is how I see it, follow The Ten Commandments as to how you should treat your fellow man. The Seven Deadly Sins is for you personally, how to be a better person. Avoid all 7, especially Pride and Your Father will be smiling down on you.

Christian Homekeeper said...

Thanks for the comment Justyna!

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