Trading Contentment for Gadgets
They’re designed to make us discontented, covetous, and miserable, unless we buy, buy, buy. “How many new gadgets do you need?” “Just a few more.” The Lord offers us the kingdom, if we’ll seek Him first and His righteousness. And we trade that for what the world has to offer. We look to the world for our worth and to tell us how we should look, what we should pursue and how many children we should have. Then we wonder why we’re miserable. Could it be that we’re chasing after the wrong thing? As soon as we succumb to having the latest gadget or the newest hair-style or the even the best “witness” t-shirt, it immediately becomes “so five minutes ago,” and now we must chase after the new newest thing.
Why is it, do you suppose, that during the daytime, when stay-at-home moms are the only ones there watching, that the networks run Victoria Secret ads? Are all these stay-at-home moms thinking, “Yeah, if I just had that lingerie, I could really do a better job of taking care of these children and providing delicious meals for my family?” No, they’re thinking, “I’ll never look like that again! Indeed, I never looked like that.” In fact, as one woman who ministers to women says, “You know, there are six billion women in the world who don’t look like supermodels. And only six that do.” She actually has to remind ladies of this, because the world tells them it ain’t so.
So, when they don’t look like that VS model, or they don’t have the latest high-tech Swiffer or they don’t travel to exotic places and have romantic getaways, they get depressed. After all, “they’re worth it,” L’Oreal tells them. So, now we have ads on the tube and in the check-out line magazines that offer solutions to their depression: chocolate, Prozac etc
Discontentment Starts with a Lie
I say, who are these Madison Avenue guys to be telling my wife that she’s not good enough? And when she’s bombarded with that lie every thirty seconds, how much harder will it be for her to believe me that she is an excellent wife whose worth is far above rubies? And how much harder than that is it for her to believe her Heavenly Father when He tells her that she is a princess in His kingdom?
Oscar Wilde wisely said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” And what is fashion, but boys on Madison Avenue’s way of getting us to come back for more to satisfy our discontent.
The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, told us:
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
What shall we say then? Kill the TV? By all means. Are there good things that come to us through the television? Sure. But the preponderance of sewage it dumps directly into our living rooms warrants great prudence in its use. No sense in having cable or network television oozing out of it 24×7. For all the good it delivers can be had without connecting it to the raw sewer line. And that’s not only the advertisements.
Contentment & Trust
In his Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus Christ told us:
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Jesus isn’t even talking about having the latest greatest cell phone with all the snazzy colors. He’s not talking about the latest Beach diet or having the right Sleep Number or your father’s Oldsmobile. Jesus is telling us not to get all wrapped up in what we’re going to eat at our next meal or whether we’re going to have anything to wear when we wake up in the morning. Get off the merry-go-round, look to your heavenly Father for what you need… and ask Him for what you want. Then leave it in His hands to work all things to your good.