Materialism Manipulated Me

Materialism Manipulated Me

Investing confidence in financial or materialistic things robs you from the freedom Christ died to bring.

Don’t get me wrong, having or desiring really nice things are not always a bad thing. While I say that, it’s imperative you sustain an awareness of it not taking root and becoming a heart issue.

 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

Keep in check where your driving factors come from:

Does it drive you closer to Jesus, or dig the hole deeper into sin?

Does it drive you to work hard to convince people you’re happy, when reality is you’re nothing but empty?

Does it drive you to be selfish in places you should be selfless?

Does it drive dependence in the world or on the One who created the world?

It’s important to keep tabs on the places you find your deepest drive in selfishness. It’s in those places that God is trying to show you that there is something in you that needs to be humbled and renewed.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

The scary thing about glorifying our lives with worldly things is you end up preaching the wrong gospel.

You proudly preach, “look at me – then you’ll be happy”. By this people start to believe success, money, travel, and materialism really will satisfy.

Reality is, it’s nothing but a massive lie because we know the truth is this world can never satisfy.

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

Don’t let materialism manipulate you

Instead, we should be more proud to say, “look at what Jesus has done for me, within me, and what He can also do for you – so you can find freedom too”.

I had my own fair share of battles with financial status and security. It became an ugly idol. This idol conformed my identity to the likeliness of the world, and made me my own enemy.

  • I was driven to have my dream car (Explorer) because it looked like a Range Rover.

  • I was driven to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner for better hours and higher salary.

  • I was driven to believe going on fun trips would give me the opportunity to escape problems or things I was avoiding.

  • I was driven not to tithe because I was so worried about building a significant financial security blanket, yet I made sure to have money for things I deemed “worthy” – superficially.

What a stab, worthy. Isn’t is sad how easily we find ourselves just so entitled and worthy. Truth is, we deserve absolutely nothing, but our Savior gave us everything.

How is it that I could be so consumed in doing what was “best for me” while I completely neglected praising my savior for how HE blessed me.

He blessed me so I could bless others, not to live for self.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

While sometimes having and doing nice things can be fun or de-stressing, I allowed myself to get carried away to fill the void of needing Jesus.

*Enter conviction*

I started tithing. I sold my dream car. I withdrew from NP school. I moved to the suburbs, and gave up city life.

When my paycheck comes, my first 10% is now immediately tithed before any other financial obligation – no matter how scary it may seem. I can affirm without a doubt God will provide and bless me. Scripture says so.

He knew I didn’t need the fancy car. He knew I wasn’t meant to be a NP, but instead, He wanted me to pursue ministry. He knew I didn’t need a high-rise because He wanted me to have an extra room to better serve HIS people who may have a need.

I gave up several material things that were significantly driving me, and today I feel freer then free.

My prayer is that you too will search your heart, and ask Him to reveal if there’s anything that could use a little “less of me”.

Trust me, God has no problem giving us a dose of humility. God convicts us each differently, but longs to do it lovingly – to give you freedom.

Let’s spend less time making our lives look pretty, and instead make our hearts and how we steward others pretty.

Be financially free and trust God will make you rich by the grace of His promises.

“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

Show Me Your Scars

Show Me Your Scars

We all have scars.

Some, more prominent than others, yet none serve as a lack of significance.

Our scars tell a story.

Where we’ve been. The trauma we’ve lived. The fire we’ve walked through. The pain once rooted deep within.

We’re quick to cover up our scars out of shame, or the potential of dimming the beauty that’s found within. Scars usually aren’t pretty. We don’t want people to see them because we don’t only want to be seen by them. Our initial response is more than likely not to be proud of them. Depending where you’ve been, you may feel they’re best to never be talked about again.

We don’t have to be proud of where we’ve been. More times than not we’d probably wish those circumstances or decisions would’ve never existed.

While you don’t have to be proud of the events, things, or places that created those scars, I do challenge you to be proud of what they’ve made you, and who you are because of them.

Some scars may be superficial while others are deep gashes that took what seems to have been forever to mend.

I want to share a significant portion of John 20 about Jesus and His scars. When Jesus was resurrected He came back to see his disciples, and they knew for certain it was Him because of His scars.

“…He showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord…Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” John 20:20, 24-28

When I came across this story, I personally was inspired to write about it from a different perspective of the scars we bear in our own lives.

Jesus wasn’t ashamed by His scars. He knew His people would know it was HIM by witnessing the scars He showed them!

My friends, why don’t we do the same!

Why don’t we instead take a bold stance and tell the world that our scars are just fruitful testaments that God faithfully fulfills His promises!

Jesus’ scars from the cross didn’t just define Him by where He’s been. It wasn’t left at crucifixion – It was boldly glorified by His RESURRECTION! The story of the gospel lives and breathes because it didn’t stop at the cross. He was meant to do what God ultimately destined Him to – to RISE, LIVE, and BREATHE so He could powerfully live on in each and every one of you.

Your scars don’t define you by where you’ve been. No, instead, they give you the opportunity to share the gospel by faithfully proclaiming of what Jesus has done WITHIN!

Your scars may have really hurt, and still may. But friends, it cannot even begin to compete with the testament of what Jesus Christ has done in you, and the legacy you now leave behind you.

So, show me your scars.

Share your story.

Proudly be bold to bring God all the glory.

 

“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:16-17

Simply Be Still

Simply Be Still

“Be still”. What does it mean to “be still”?

For some, the word “still” may not even exist in their vocabulary. I can humbly admit I’ve faithfully lived in this place at times. Life itself finds a way to  barricade our spare moments and engulf them instead with opportunities to do more, see more, be more.

More. More. More.

If it’s not good enough, it’s not done yet. If it’s not successful enough, it needs more work. If it’s not fulfilling enough, it needs another outlet.

Are you tired of not enough? I am. It’s exhausting. It’s a never ending cycle with an aimless destination. Completely empty.

I spend a lot of time reading biblical commentary to give me greater depth and understanding to the passages I read. This quote below is from “Enduring Word Biblical Commentary” on what the bible says about being “still” and how to apply it.

"...as you know the glory and greatness of God, stop your mouth from arguing him or opposing him. Simply surrender." - Enduring Word

I became fixated as to why the commentary chose the adjective “simply” to describe our process of surrender. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we have this pretense that surrender appears to be far from “simplicity”. Some may even equate the thought of surrender to a near tragedy.

But ask yourself, does it have to be?

Truth is, there is absolutely no simplicity found in control. Once you deal with one thing, you’re already 5 steps into the next thing. There’s never any time to stop and breathe because you’re so consumed in believing “I know what’s best for me, but thanks God”.

We grasp for and grip control in any shape or form because we cling to the belief “I’ve got me”, instead of in faith declaring “God’s got me”.

We do so because of the battle with living in fear. All too well we know if we surrender we blindly step into the unknown. That’s what scares us, the unknown. We long for control because we long to know the destination and outcome. In our way, our time.

But what we fail to understand is that it’s amidst the unknown, The God of all creation, faithfully sustains us to be complete and whole.

Surrender actually frees those exhausted, tight, clenched hands, and serves as the key to releasing the blessings God has already intended and planned.

When our palms are too busy gripping our own selfish desires, we end up completely closed off to accepting  all God transpires.

So let me ask, what are you desperately grasping on to that could instead use a solid “God I trust you”?


The stillness is meant to refresh us. One of my mentors, Tammy, always says to me “He never once tells us to figure it out, but to trust and be still”.

She’s right.

In being still we are met with peace. The peace is found in knowing that with The Lord leading me nothing will be lacking or taken from me. The simplicity lies in believing God is for me; therefore, allowing myself to rest because nothing can or will stand against me. (Romans 8:31). Being still is confidently trusting whatever direction the unknown goes is ultimately to bring Him glory, and teaches me how to grow. 

“The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul, He guides me along the right paths for His sake.” Psalm 22:1-3

So my friends release,

simply “Be still“, andknow that [He] is God”. Psalm 46:10