How Much "Stuff" is Too Much?
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain[a] we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. I Timothy 6:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
I hate moving! Or at least I should say, I hate the process of moving. Between packing and unpacking, arranging and rearranging, carrying boxes to and fro; taking things up and down stairs, it can all become a bit overwhelming! It’s amazing how much “stuff we collect over the years.” Our homes are packed with stuff! Our closets are over flowing with “stuff.” We have shoes, clothes, housewares, electronics and toys galore! Our garages are filled to capacity and some of our “stuff” has even taken refuge in the walls of storage space because there is no room left for the “stuff” in our homes.
Many of us have more than we could ever need or will use in a life time. Looking in my own closet this past year while preparing to relocate, I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had accumulated. Where did all this stuff come from and why is there so much of it? How many pairs of shoes do I really need and why is it so hard to let things go when I haven’t worn them in years? Eventually, we have to ask ourselves, how much is too much and when will enough be enough? How many hand bags, coats, pots, pans, lawn mowers, furniture, televisions, cars, computers, cell phones, tablets and the list goes on do we really need?
Sadly, many people don’t even realize that much of what we buy is used to help us find fulfillment and joy in life and to fill spaces of void that can never be filled by material things. If you’re like me there’s a special feeling you get when you buy something new. The smell of the new car or the crispness of the shirt worn for the first time. Sadly, the euphoria we get from our new-fangled treasures are short lived. So often, once the novelty of the freshly acquired piece has subsided, we find ourselves looking for something else to fill that space. We need something else to reignite the high.
After being inundated with stuff I couldn’t take with me during the relocation, I decided to challenge myself to live the rest of this year with a mindset of necessity and not of excess. This essentially means only buying what I need and not what I want.
Since starting this challenge, these past few months have been enlightening! I’m learning that I can actually live without all of the “stuff.” I’ve been able to save more money and accelerate plans for debt reduction. I’m determined to not let the temptation to consume more and more “stuff,” consume me. I have more than enough and just because I can want to get the newest iPhone, doesn’t mean I need. The one I have is working just fine. By choosing not to over consume we allow ourselves to save more and spend less. Saying no to the temptation to consume more and more “stuff” is a delicate art many struggle achieve. Finding contentment in what we already have is a true struggle but once it’s found, life is all that much sweeter.
This week I challenge you to look at your “stuff,” is it overtaking you?