Toward the end of the year, I began to notice a real problem in my life. Many might not even consider this a problem, but for me it is. This has always been a struggle, but it really was starting to get out of hand so much so that I recognized a change needed to be made. I decided extreme measures were necessary.
I’m not writing about this to toot my own horn, but in hopes this may help someone who faces similar struggles—or maybe even help some to realize this has been a blind spot in their lives as well. As Americans, we live in a society driven by consumerism. We’re plagued by ads on social media, television, billboards, and even in our email accounts telling us that what we have isn’t enough. They want us to think that happiness lies in the next item purchased. Even if we don’t succumb to spending ourselves blind, we can still very well waste our time “window shopping”, dreaming, and desiring the next acquisition.
This is where I was. I wasn’t driving my family into debt, but I was spending so much time thinking about what to get next that frankly it was all I thought about. This is idolatry. This is sin. This is a big problem. I was in love with the world and the things in the world (1 John 2:15). I’m ashamed to admit it, but it really had a hold of me. I wasn’t laying up my treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). I wasn’t living for an eternal kingdom, but very much the here-and-now kingdom.
John Owen has famously said, “Kill sin or sin will be killing you.” In 2019 that is my intent. I have resolved to buy nothing this year. I am not trying to entertain some sort of legalism, but I am trying to cut my sin at it’s root. I will of course buy things like food and soap. I may even make an exception if the Saints win the Super Bowl, but I am looking toward Christ and His kingdom this year. I want to replace my sin with love for the One worthy of my praise, thoughts, and affections. I don’t want to love this world or the things in it. My sin truly was killing me on the inside and I want to run to the One who has provided life abundantly.
As stated earlier, I’m not sharing this to try and be pious. I’m sharing because we all struggle with sin. We all need God’s grace and mercy every day. We all need encouragement. I hope in sharing mine, it may give you the boldness to seek Christ’s grace and provision to fight yours. May 2019 be a year that finds us closer with Christ than ever before at the end of it.