Friday, August 15, 2008


I've been thinking a lot lately about our sickness of stuff. Really, it's a disease and I find myself falling prey to it far more frequently than I would like, or even really care to admit.

It's almost like my eyes have seen advertising a little differently in recent weeks and months and I'm aghast at how easily we make ourselves victims to our desire for more things.

Hardly anyone would argue with the fact that America is the most materialistic society ever. There is no end to the madness of it all. VHS are replaced by DVDs are replaced by Blu Ray discs. We're always looking for newer, better, faster, smaller. New and improved, next generation...

I think my distaste for it all has exploded as I've been let down so many times after a purchase. I thought for awhile that I was just disappointed with my purchases because my mom has always been and it's "genetic". That I had too high of expectations for products and services.

I don't think the problem is me.

You see, the advertising world plays to us that something-- some part of our life-- some product, some physical trait, some aspect of the way we do things is broken. And of course, there is a "magic" solution. Pay us such-and-such in this many easy payments of {fill in amount here} and WAH-LA-- problem fixed!

I think the reason this advertising appeals to us so easily is that we all feel like there is something broken. There is something broken in each one of us. But it's not something that will be fixed by face creams, household appliances, blue suede shoes, an unwanted hair remover, a faster car, a smaller gadget. You see, this broken piece of us goes much deeper than any of those products can penetrate. It's a broken heart.

Not a lovey-dovey romantical broken heart. A heart that is sick with itself. It seeks its own way, its own pleasure, its own right, its own happiness. In "christian" terms you might have heard of the broken heart state referred to as sin. It is. Sin just means we want our own glory, not God's. It's been a problem in the world long before we came along, it's rooted deep inside our children, our spouses, our friends, the pastor on TV, the perfect housewife next door.

I guess the reason this sickness of stuff is bothering me so much is the idea that the marketing world at large is taking advantage of the state people are in. We do feel broken. We are broken. We need a fix, but it's not going to come from Target, or the mall. It can only come from confessing and believing that Jesus Christ is Lord.

I look around me at all the clothes I have to fold. All the knick-knacks I have to dust. All the things we have stored and stashed around. Life would be easier if I didn't feel the need to fill it up!

Maybe you can remind me of this post if you see me in Target? Thanks.


Dee Dee said...

Up to our necks attempting to clean out the storage room this week, we can heartily "amen" your words!
Jesus was so wise in His realization that rich men can be owned by their things. The verse that went something like: "And the man went away sadly, because he was very rich."
When our things make the kinds of demands they do on our time, something is quite backward. Thanks for a well-worded post.

Windot said...

Thank you for this post. Amazing. Amazingly true. Amazingly convicting.