And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Gospel of Luke, chapter 12, verse 15
Remember the old saying (and maybe it came from the Bible too, I forget): Naked you came and naked you go?
Sure, they don’t actually bury you naked, but that other lovely phrase also tells us: You can’t take it with you.
So, as our economy continues to tank, with Lehman Brothers latest on the list of failing financial institutions and unemployment much higher than it should be, I ask you this:
When we get out of our current economic pickle, God willing, and we are back on track, what is it that we will shoot for? Will it be back to buy, buy, buy? Run up the credit cards and buy bigger (and more) vehicles than we need? Will we go back to purchasing and hoarding stuff, or will we have learned anything?
Yes, a certain amount of consumerism is neceassary to keep businesses thriving, but we need to know when we have enough and when we’re starting to stockpile more than we really need.
When we do that, we’ll not only be more in line with biblical values but we’ll have a hardier and stronger economy, too, I think.
Sadly, I think people will go back to buying and living beyond their means. It’s a psychological and spiritual problem. The ego only knows how to want, it doesn’t know how to be satisfied. So people want bigger, better, faster. Then they get it and still feel empty. That’s where the spiritual comes in. What can feed your soul like nothing else on this earth? Yay, Jesus!
I fear you’re right. It’s just so frustrating. I don’t believe in “golden ages” of anything, no matter how many times I saw “Happy Days” or “Leave it to Beaver” or “The Brady Bunch”…but damn, it didn’t seem this bad for my parents.
I know they had troubles when they were young, but you worked and you got paid decent and you made a nice middle class lifestyle. My dad was in the trades but he did quite nicely overall and had a home and has taken care of his finances and, frankly, some of mine since we took some hits. He never bought a ton of “toys” or tried to have fantastic vehicles or anything. Even with my mom not being the best fiscally sound person on the planet, they never got in trouble really.
And yet now we see people who SHOULD be in decent shape, even in a less stellar economic and employment climate these past couple generations, and they do things like use their home equity to finance big vacations and fancy cars. I can’t judge them, but it sure confuses me. It’s almost like so many of them felt entitled to a fantastic life because their parents merely muddled by on merely a “good” life. When did good become “not enough.” I understand trying to rise about mediocrity or “pretty good”…but last I checked, good was…well, something good.
I’m in pretty sucky financial shape, but at least I can console myself that almost none of my problems were caused by reckless excess.