I love receiving my Martha Stewart Living, Food, and New Yorker magazines because they were all gift subscriptions and I love to read them. However, all the home decor, clothing, and pretty much any magazine that you can order from into the recycle bin as I enter the house.
This is not a new or profound idea I have had, in fact, I have done it before. While paging through magazines is not wrong in itself for me right now, it has been an area of lusting and wanting the things inside.
Part of it is, I want it all too much. I want nice things. I want a cute house. I want to be fashionable and put together. I want to be a good mother, a creative person, and a godly woman. The problem I see is that I want so much for myself so others will approve of and love me, that I will love me, and I am leaving Christ out of the mix. Loving myself too much and Christ too little.
I started throwing away my magazines when one afternoon I had brought them in, planning to sit down and page through them while my boys played. I thought to myself, I cannot afford to buy anything in these magazines, I don't really need anything in these magazines, and why not play with my boys more today. I threw them out in the garage and my boys and I had an amazing afternoon of silly games and lots of laughs.I am not trying to say you should never want to buy nice things. I mean I do think it is fine to want nice things, and trust me I still have a long way to go before my material wants dissolve. It can become dangerous though. When you get what you want and then you want more and more and more, then it becomes sticky and icky. Your want for nice things has become an obssesion.
I have found this year as we bought our first home I want so much, fully furnished beautiful rooms, when the reality is we cannot afford it. Even if we could it would still be foolish of us to waste all our money on making our house "perfect". I think it is more important to give unto others, and to give to your church and missions. Where the money can be used to further Gods kingdom.
I love the story of the widow's offering in Mark 12 :41-44. It reads;
" And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
This story is very humbling. It makes me realize how selfish I am so often. It really has struck me this year. I want to know Christ more. To love him more. To not care about things so much. I encourage you to read Carolyn Mahaneys' latest post on Girltalk, as she refelcts on materialism a bit too. While I don't always agree with the girltalkers, they do have some great insights, and this post was a goodie.
Things are just things after all. And for now, I know I need to keep on recycling those magazines when they come. While I long to be this way or that way, or have this thing or that thing, I most of all want to keep seeking to be honoring to Christ. To be growing in my love and knowledge of him.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." - Matthew 6:19- 21