Proverbs 25:28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
“I want it now!” is the mantra of our overindulgent generation. The idea of waiting and saving for something wanted has become so old-fashion. Those of us who still do things that way are mocked as people who are not in touch with the times. Having self-control over one’s spending habits is seen as a waste of time when all you have to do is get it now and pay later. Offers of easy money that should not be refused is promoted twenty-four-seven with the added enticement that says “You deserve it.”
We live in an overcharged consumptive world where nothing is denied and no one seems to be happier with all they can get at the click of an icon or the swipe of a charge card. The Lord warned us of this treasure hunting attitude that can take a toll on our hearts. Matt. 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
No! I am not against shopping at the mall. As a matter of fact, the majority of the miracles in the new testament were manifested in the streets and marketplaces where Jesus and the apostles ministered. I am only thinking out loud as I watch people shuffling their way through their daily grind, looking for that thing that will bring joy and satisfaction to their souls. The assembly of the first mall is attended regularly with heartfelt dedication and the willingness to offer up hard earned or borrowed money to the gods of glitz and glam seems to be done without thought.
Worshipers of the newest device lineup for hours and sometimes days in order to get the product that will ordain the individual as acceptable in society. The rush to spend money they don’t have on brand names not needed to impress people not liked is the doctrine numbingly followed. All this froth of activity in order to have a sense of self-worth while Jesus says to us all that the rest and gratification we are looking for is in Him. Matt. 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
There is nothing wrong with owning the latest device offered in the marketplace, but not at the cost of your personal peace and integrity. Counseling the young and old who are in debt to lenders of fast money has been heartbreaking. All they can think of is declaring personal bankruptcy and starting all over again. Therein is the problem. Starting all over again and not fixing the problem that got them to the point of bankruptcy in the first place. 2 Tim. 3:7 Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Deferred gratification is such a foreign idea to these indebted ones. When I bring it up in counsel they look at me as if I am an alien. Maybe I am an alien, but this alien is not in debt and hopefully has developed a sense of self-control in life. 1 Pet. 2:11 Beloved, I exhort you as aliens and sojourners, to abstain from fleshly desires, which war against your soul,12 keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
If you want to covet and cannot wait for the next thing, then covet the things of God. 1 Tim. 6:11 But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. With the enthusiasm of the overnight shopper in line for the newest toy, how about lining up in God’s presence for an evening of prayer and searching the scriptures for the answer needed in your life right now? Instead of spending money you do not have, why not spend some time with God finding out how to create wealth that will bring joy within the kingdom of God and to your life.
Work out a faith project with the Lord and see what He can do when God becomes your gratification in life. Use your life given energy to become God’s blessing in the world rather than another statistic of human failure because you just had to have it now! Become grateful for what you have and stop worrying that you will miss out. God is not finished with you. The Lord has you in the palm of his hand and is working a miracle in your life right now, so be at peace and be gratified in His love. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.