Our society lives a lifestyle of accumulation.
- We can’t wait to buy the next trendy thing, because we hope it will make us happy, or cool, or popular, or successful.
- We buy things we don’t need.
- We buy more than we need, so we never risk running out.
- We keep things we no longer use.
We accumulate so much stuff we have to rent storage units, because it won’t all fit in our houses. Yet we don’t stop, because the accumulation mindset will never be satisfied.
Instead, I want to live a lifestyle of generosity. A life characterized by gratitude for every good thing God has given me, and a willingness to use all of it for his work.
Not an easy task, when we are bombarded by advertisements and social media posts of perfect cakes and gorgeous home décor. How do I fight the accumulation lifestyle?
Here are a few ideas:
- First and foremost, I must remember that ultimately everything I own belongs to God, and that he has promised to meet all my needs. This means I don’t need to stockpile in case he doesn’t come through. Instead I will believe that God will provide all I need, when I need it. (And often not before then.) Hoarding what I might need someday is not an act of faith.
- Start a gratitude journal. The more I pay attention to the blessings that surround me, the easier it is to remain grateful for what I already have. (If you are not a fan of journaling, start each day by mentally listing three things you are genuinely thankful about. Force yourself to come up with new ones each day.)
- Ask of each object I own, “What is your plan for this, Lord?” This implies being willing to let go of things that can better serve another family, or that are hindering me from best serving God in my current phase of life. Do I hold all he has given with open hands, or am I clutching some things tightly to my chest?
- Look for other areas in my life where I am tempted to accumulate. Do I long for praise, attention, or recognition? Perhaps I need to remind myself that my value is not based on my achievements, but on God and his love for me. Once I have reaffirmed my worth, I can be generous with praise and affirmation of others, instead of longing to hog it all for myself.
Will you join me in pursuing a lifestyle of generosity?
How do you fight the constant temptation to accumulate?
And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. Matthew 10:42 NLT