God is funny. Just the way He gets our attention often is very funny to me. Today, is one of those funny days. I am currently going thru a study called "No other gods" with some friends. I am also doing a 20 day devotional on stewardship that my pastor suggested we as a church do.
Well today the two overlapped. That's how God is funny. I know when He really wants me to get something bc He is repetitive with it. Everywhere I look I will see the same message or hear the same scripture. Does He do that to the rest of you?
Anyhow, today was about two separate things in these bible studies (lies we let rule us and contentment) but really the core of the issue came back to the same thing: media. I normally don't like when people go on big media rants. In fact i usually feel its quite legalistic and it makes me mad (i once got very very angry over a blog post about cable... you can ask me about it if you want). But today these lessons hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I needed to here this today.
So I sat down with my coffee, my bible and the studies and dove right in. In my "No other gods" study the day was titled "Behind every false god is a door we've left open" (true dat!). She immediately starts talking about how everything we read, watch, and listen to has a profound effect on us, but how too often we make these excuses: ' I don't agree with everything in this, but it has an overall good message', 'it's just so stupid it's funny', (or here is the one i use all too often) 'i can see the things in it that i know are wrong and i don't believe in, but i don't struggle with these things so its fine'. **From this moment on I knew it would be a painful morning**
Basically the study went on to look at scripture that calls us to avoid sinful behavior, much of which we see on tv or hear in our music. I am not going on a rant about what you need to cut out of your life- you can take that up with the Lord. And for me right now, what I watch and listen to wasn't the biggest problem today...
After I finished NOGS (no other gods) I went on to my stewardship devo. My pastor recently did a few week series on being good stewards and he recommended this devo which you can get for free from redeemer presbyterian. Anyhow, todays lesson was on contentment. Uh-oh.
He talked about how contentment is a means of trusting God, and to be discontent is to accuse God of being unloving (telling Him he doesn't care enough to provide this) or impotent (telling Him He isn't able to provide). But then He started talking about our culture and how we live in a culture of discontent. Amen we do! And here is the paragraph that struck me today:
"Sadly, we live in a culture of discontent. Everyday we see an average of 3,500 ads, each trying to convince us that what we have is not good enough. We need something new, something better, something more fashionable. Desires become hopes, which become wants, which become 'needs'. "I've just got to have that new HDTV wide-screen TV". Once the newness wears off, its time for a new toy."
For some of you, you are thinking "big deal sabrina". but for where I am in my life right now, this is such a clear description of what I am up against. THIS is my problem with media. with what i watch and read and look at. i am not at a point where watching silly dramas is making me struggle with my views on romance or morality (i have been there though and i am sure i will prob be back there someday). i am at a point though where materialism is attacking me from all sides.
and its annoying! who invented ads? i want to punch him in the face! stop telling me life would be better with a newer this or that! it will not be! and here is the deal. when i am at home with no tv on or radio blaring then i am typically a content little pea. what God has provided is an abundance of enough. i love my house, my husband, my animals, my stuff (maybe not my clothes... but anyhow). when the ads start going its like a trance. suddenly i find myself thinking, i wish we would be able to get that instead of what we have etc....
so here is my public renunciation of the ad guy: i curse you Mr. I-invented-the-promotional-ad! you are an instrument of the devil and i am sick of you!!! My God is enough. He is MORE than enough. He is able to meet all of my needs. He will provide everything I need, and somethings I dont need but might just want. Why? Because He delights in my joy! .... So back off dude!!!
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
** if any of you work in advertising please do not take this offensively... i know there are good things about advertising too...