(Please watch this video after you have read the blog. I hope you enjoy it!)
Yeah, this song from the 80's certainly fit me this past week. I have been struggling with material wants and possessions.
It all started when I was sick a couple of weeks ago. I grabbed the laptop and began searching for new winter coats. I love "The North Face" brand and I not only found one coat I liked but I found two. They were both $300.oo a piece. I knew there was no way I was going to get both of those but I was obsessed with those jackets. Everyday I was online looking at them and going through withdrawls of not being a compulsive buyer. You see I am taking a financial class called "Financial Peace" and it is awesome. The class is taught by Dave Ramsey (financial radio host) and God has used this class to teach me a lot. I still have more to learn but I feel much closer to the knowledge of being debt free. So, this whole jacket situation and the Lord's conviction had me sweating and heart racing (silly I know) of not buying the jackets. I honestly could have but I knew that was not right.
Since that episode a couple of weeks ago, I have been comparing jackets of what looks similar to that $300.00 jacket, just not as expensive. I found one at Old Navy and I bought it. Buying that one led to looking at more jackets. No, I didn't buy any but I was seeing how I needed different jackets for different occasions. Then I began looking at sweaters, then purses, and then shirts. I was beginning to feel like I had to have every thing for every situation.
I had plans to go out with a friend to a Fall Fest and thought I had to have a new shirt. She isn't materialistic or judgemental but nothing I had was good enough. I bought a new purse because I thought I had to have something new for a Louisiana trip I am going on. Yeah, God quickly told me to give that to someone for Christmas.
I began to wonder and seek out about why I would be acting this way when I haven't had this much of an issue before. I am usually able to control my shopping issues.
God showed me a small but huge (to me) root. I downloaded some music to my MP3 player to run to. It is a party cd. There are songs like "Golddigger", "Oh I Thank They Like Me", and "Party Like a Rockstar." I am not really motivated by any of this music but since I carried the cd into my car and would listen to it just for the beat purposes, I began to sing these songs in my head daily. When you take on the "hardcore" music, movies, or attitude of the world you tend to mold into what the standards are. Jesus really urges us to be against it. I am not judgemental to those who choose to listen to this and it makes me pick up my running pace, but it is not good for me to listen to non-stop with an attitude. It makes me anxious, proud, and feeling like I don't need anything, I'm good. That is not a good feeling for me. I need Jesus.
I know it's okay to want and at times fulfill it. I am, however, taking a God lead class to get out of debt and live like no one else later. In order to do that I have to live like no one else now. Being more responsible on how I handle money and not being compulsive.
So I had a little breakthrough, but I had a big test today.
We went to our financial class today. The couple lives up Rock Road. After class was over I wanted to stop by Dick's Sporting Goods and look at their North Face jackets. I told Maddy, "how about I stop by Dick's?" She said, "no." I got angry inside. Mind you, she knows nothing of what I was going through. She didn't even know I was angry inside. I knew what God was saying. I took a breath and said "yeah, let's go home." I was relieved. It was a small but huge (to me) step.
Babe and I are on our way to being debt free and that is freeing to us. I know there will be trials along the way and tests to see our hearts to everything we planned to do. I do not believe it is wrong to want but when it consumes you, that is not healthy. When you are led by "worldy" motives whether it is music, movies, or others, it can create (if you let it) in you someone you won't like. It isn't pure and it isn't pleasing to God. You can become something you despise and when that is fed it creates something bigger and can be destructive.
"All this time and money wasted on fashion-do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers-most of which are never even seen-don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving."-Matthew 6:28-30 (The Message)
For the busy heart motivated by "earthly" influence:
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."-Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)
The Lord is freeing me and I am learning something new everyday. I do not have to "Party Like a Rockstar" or "Thank They Like Me." Jesus loves me whether I am wearing nice or tattered clothes. When I leave this Earth I take nothing with me but my soul. That is the only label God sees on me.