A few years ago, I took intentional steps to break my addiction to online shopping. When I was going through that process, I peeled back the layers of why I became addicted in the first place. I discovered that– at core of it– my issue was discontent.
Contentment and Consumer Culture
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, contentment is “happiness and satisfaction, often because you have everything you need.”
When my addiction to online shopping started, I was perpetually discontented. I wanted to alleviate that feeling by buying stuff.
I know I’m not alone in this feeling– in fact, consumer culture wants us to be discontented. If we are unhappy and dissatisfied, we will continue to buy things to try to become content.
But purchasing consumer products doesn’t actually solve our contentment issue. It just perpetuates a cycle of continuous discontentment, keeping us on the consumerism hamster wheel of constantly buying material goods, thinking that contentment is right around the corner with our next purchase.
God’s Answer to Contentment
Consumer culture tells us that we will be content, happy, and satisfied if we buy the next new thing. But that message is a complete lie– we will continue to be discontented if we buy into (pun intended) consumer culture’s message.
God has a different answer to contentment:
Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.1 Timothy 6:6-8
So, when we realize that having our needs met is all that we actually need, and that our material possessions here on earth weren’t with us when we were born and won’t come with us when we die– that’s when we are most like God and content with our lives.
God invites us to recognize what we already have, rather than always looking at what we don’t have. When our basic needs are being met, we can rest in gratitude and contentment. We don’t have to engage in the consumerism hamster wheel– we can step off the wheel and cultivate contentment.
Our God is a God of love, peace, and joy: Jesus gives us peace when the world does not (John 14:27). Don’t let consumer culture rob you of peace and contentment!
How is God inviting YOU to step off the consumerism hamster wheel and experience contentment?
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