It should come as no surprise that we live in a consumeristic world. While the era of technology has connected us to more people and made our lives more convenient, it has also opened an array of new ways to consume. Not all consumption is bad, but when our consumer habits begin to consume our lives, Houston, we have a problem.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” –Theodore Roosevelt
How many hours do you spend on social media a day? Worldwide, the average time spent on social media per person in 2017 was 135 minutes- more than two hours! I would wager that is far more time than we spend in prayer, reading our bibles, or even communicating with actual people. I am guilty of spending countless, mind-numbing hours staring at a screen, incessantly scrolling and comparing myself to friends, family, acquaintances, and even celebrities. Consuming timelines leads to little fulfillment and causes me to question my identity and covet the things I don’t have.
Challenge: Designate a spot in your home where your phone can reside when you get home in the evening. Leave your ringer on loud if you are concerned with missing phone calls! This will help you be more present to those who matter most and allow you an opportunity to unwind from social media and technology.
All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing. –Proverbs 21:26
Being in a consumeristic society means we’re always looking for what we can get out of a situation. While likely unintentional, this should give us pause. Have you ever done something like wash the dishes, volunteer at an event, or donate financial resources and felt hurt when you received no recognition? I have. I am guilty of serving to receive praise and admiration for what I should be compelled to do because Christ has called me to.
Challenge: Do one random act of kindness this week like purchase coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru, mail a gift card to someone with no return address, or bake cookies for the office. By practicing being kind without needing praise, you find your satisfaction in the act of giving and your contentment in the Lord.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. – Timothy 6:6-8
One of the largest problems facing our world today is overconsumption of resources including energy, clothing, and food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 84 percent of unwanted clothes in the U.S. end up in landfills or the incinerator. What’s worse, 40% of all food generated in the U.S. goes uneaten. I’m sure if we all opened our closets, pantries, and fridges, we would realize we have more than enough to live on.
Food Challenge: Create an inventory of all the food in your house. Use the inventory to devise a menu using existing items in your pantry and fridge. Each meal must contain at least one ingredient you already have.
Stuff Challenge: Go one month without purchasing clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup, or stuff in general. Donate gently used items to charity or have a clothing swap with friends to refresh your wardrobe.
… but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. -Mark 4:19
So many of us are blessed beyond measure yet we are still craving more. This likely comes from not spending enough time with the Lord. We will never find contentment until we turn our attention to the teachings of Christ and live as He has called us to live. It may sound cheesy, but this year consume more of Christ. I assure you it will be beneficial!
If you choose to partake in any of these challenges or make small changes, drop us a comment below! May you have a happy and content 2018!
Digital Communications Strategist
All photos courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez. For more of her work, click here.