What Am I Buying?
You'll save a lot of money if you pause before a purchase and ask, "What am I buying?" The price tag is not on the shelf; it's in your brain.
There is something comforting about carrying around one of those big, metal tumblers full of hot coffee. In reality, you may drink 64oz of coffee in a few hours, but you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your iron mug could keep it warm for up to 2 weeks.
A study compared three brands of metal tumblers at various price points; a Yeti tumbler which costs about $40, the Orca brand at $30, and the Ozark brand sold at Wal-Mart that goes for less than $10.
Each tumbler was packed with crushed ice and placed in a room at 73 degrees. After 40 hours, there was a 1-ounce difference in melted ice between the three brands. After 56 hours, the cheaper of the three, Ozark brand, was the only one with any ice remaining.
There is clear psychological evidence that we are affected by brand names. We buy belonging, not just a tumbler. We are not paying for a shirt; we are purchasing self-esteem.
Jesus gave us a sober way to value things.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:19-21
Anxiety comes when we can't have it or can't keep what we treasure. And what you "treasure" is really the price tag you put on things.
Making a Purchase or Hedging a Future?
When you "treasure" material things, you are not just purchasing items, you're hedging a future. What are you buying?
Are you buying your child a coat, or are you trying to assure their acceptance?
Is this a vacation or your ultimate happiness?
Is that a video game or your ploy to pacify your child?
Are you driving a car, or is that the statement about who you are with heated seats and a sunroof?
When we place greater treasure on the things of God, we realize that games are fun, but they can't replace the time I spend with my kids. A vacation is nice, but it doesn't solve my problems. When your treasure is not in a brand name, you can buy your kid a coat because it keeps them warm. You help them see that their identity comes from a deeper place.
When our treasure is in Christ, we realize what we are buying. It's just stuff. Material things are nice to have, but they can't possibly perform at "treasure" status. Whether the mug costs $40 or $4, the coffee I pour out of it tastes the same.
When my treasure is in Christ, I can buy cheaper and not feel cheapened. Having your treasure in Him will not only help your sanity, but it will save you a lot of money.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Matthew 6:19-21
- List the commands. Obey them.
- List the promises. Believe them.
- List the principles. Apply them.
Evaluate your last major purchase. Write out the reasons you chose that item above the others. Could you have waited to make the purchase or did you purchase it on a whim? Was there any thought process in your decision that reflected your relationship with Christ? How does your overall spending over the last month reflect your relationship with Christ? What needs to change?
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