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Part Two: Refuse

Protest

The people of God have always had to resist the allure of glittering images, false idols and powerful empires. But there are few more enticing distractions than the modern consumer dream. Not all consumerism is bad, but once we’ve come to appreciate what’s good there comes a time to say ‘no’…

 

 1. LIVE THE TRUTH

Advertisers know exactly what buttons to press to get us to buy things. They constantly offer freedom, happiness, beauty, love, and a thousand other things they can’t deliver.  But what if we didn’t take the bait? Instead of living the lie of the consumer dream, we need to live the truth of what God has done for us and what truly matters.

 ACTION: READ

Chew on these verses. 

 Consumer freedom  Hebrews 13:5-6

Peace of Mind Matt 6:19-34

Investment principles  1 Tim 6:6-10/17-19

Beauty Tips – 1 Peter 3:3-4

 

2. IDENTIFY IDOLS

Not all idols are as easy to spot as a carved fertility pole. In reality, any concern that takes the place of God’s rule in our lives is an idol.  This leads us to some tricky questions: why do I waste time and money pursuing things that don’t last? What worries and fears drive my spending? What keeps me from a life of generosity?

ACTION: REPENT

Write down any things that have become an idol for you

Write any ways you are influenced by false messages from advertising / others

Confess these things to God.  Resolve to make a new start in this area and to walk in the freedom Christ won for you.

 

3. SLOW DOWN

Did you know that the word Sabbath means ‘stop’? Is there any stop in your life, or is it all go? Rather than busily trying to maximize our lives, we might be better doing less but enjoying it more. 

ACTION: GO SLOW

Choose an area of your life to slow down:

Time to pray                Slower driving              Eating                    A weekly day of rest                

Time with loved ones            Work                Time to listen            Time to care for your body

 

4. BUY LESS AND BETTER

Buying has become a automatic reflex for many of us. But what if we could resist the impulse to buy?  On the one hand, we could buy less: make things, mend things, share things, buy second hand, or simply do without. On the other hand, we could buy better: this means shunning instant credit, cheap deals and impromptu purchases and instead saving up for well-made goods that last.

ACTION: CHANGE A BUYING HABIT

  • Chop up your credit cards
  • Sell something and give the money to the poor
  • Try writing things down before you buy them (wait a month and pray: see if God answers your need another way or you realise you don’t need it!)
  • Try some alternatives to buying brand new

 

5. TURN OFF

Take a quiet moment to consider the place of technology in your life.  If you can’t get a quiet moment because of all the bleeping, buzzing, whirring, blaring and humming, maybe there’s too much technology in your life! Like many things, technology is a good slave but a poor master. Turning it off from time to time can help keep it in its place.

ACTION: TURN OFF

Why not try one of these…?

Mute your TV during adverts    

Turn off TV Week       

Turn off your mobile phone more (e.g., when you pray / sleep)

Don’t let phone calls ruin your conversations

Part Three 

Refuse Quotes

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions

Luke 12:15

 

Money has the power to keep you from asking questions – about how you make your money and how you spend your money.  The power of greed is not to ask; the power of greed is not to think; the power of greed is to say ‘it’s not true of me’

Tim Keller

 

Consumerism is ubiquitous and ephemeral. It is arguably the religion of the late twentieth century

Steven Miles

 

Blindness and habit dull our minds. We live in the midst of abundance and feel like paupers. Our lonely emptiness seems to be the result of our desire to turn everything into a product. Only if it becomes a product does a thing become real

Unknown

 

Material possessions not only focus people toward private and away from communal life but also encourage docility. The more possessions one has, the more compromises one will make to protect them

Robert Kaplan

 

In spite of all the talk about ‘Lordship’, everyone knows that the expectations of modern culture come first. Everyone knows getting ahead in the job comes first. Getting ahead in the suburbs comes first. Getting the children off to their activities comes first. And we tend to make our decisions in these areas pretty much like everyone else does – based on our income, our professions and our social status.  Essentially most Western Christians unquestioningly allow modern culture to arrange most of the furniture of our lives – forty to eighty-hour work weeks, single family detatched housing, congested timetables for our lives and children.

Tom Sine

 

Material wealth is problematic because it is a hindrance to heeding the gospel; it is dangerous because it is a temptation to the sin of idolatry; it is suspect because it is frequently the result or the means of social injustice

Sondra Wheeler

 

The life of Jesus and his disciples was not only eucharistic but also defiant…So in our day it is not enough to point out the contrast between our idolatry of growth and the Bible’s theology of enough; we have to opt out of the drift and help one another to live in cheerful protest against it

John V Taylor

Part Three

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