On greed, a tangent, and not knowing what to do about it

Barbara Curtis has some thought provoking stuff over at Mommy Life.

I know I’m greedy. We don’t have a lot, but we are far from destitute. I drive a mini-van with a built in VCR. I buy the girls matching outfits (used) they don’t need, solely because they look so cute matching, as often as I think I can get away with it. I buy books ALL the time. Buy Buy Buy.

I am constantly thinking about what I have, or what I want.

Today, for instance, after my quiet time with God, which by the way was brilliant, I went through my Stampin’ Up catalogue, and my Usborne catalogue, placing post-it arrows next to all the items I want, just for fun. I was on eBay twice today, looking for crib sets and books.

I didn’t once think of or pray for Freddy, the little boy we sponsor through Compassion, until I watched the video above, and then I thought about him self righteously; “Well, at least we help Freddy.” I didn’t once think about families who haven’t enough to eat, just went ahead and made my daughter four different snacks-even though I berated her about wasting food when she didn’t finish them-and was irritated with myself for giving in to her demands to begin with. I saw a request in the paper for good used clothing to donate to a church’s rummage sale, and I thought to myself that I would rather try to eBay the really good stuff first to see if I could make a little cash before I just flat out donate it.

And then I saw that video and read that article.


I don’t know what God is trying to tell me. I am sure I could do better at living more frugally. I’m sure Kevin would appreciate a wife who watches the bottom line a little more closely. I’m sure God would rather have me adopt another Compassion child or give an orphan a month of loving care and help train midwives and provide medical supplies than buy the absolutely adorable Farmland Animals nursery set that I am watching on eBay right now.

This article about Christian materialism niggled at my conscience, so I figure, I must need to change. Which reminds me of all the other areas I need to change. I have other things in my life I am struggling violently with changing right now, and I feel like it’s a losing battle. I’m trying to change so much right now, I don’t feel like I can do any of it. How do you run from temptation when the temptation is right there in your head every second?

It’s just hard to try and grow and be better and be more of who He wants me to be, who He created me to be. It’s a challenge to try to parent “right”, to live “right”, to give “right”, to serve “right”, to be the “right” wife…I must not be doing something right.

I know He wants me to walk in peace, not riddled with guilt and anxiety like I feel right now. I know He wants me to serve Him gloriously, not saggingly, like I am right now. I know His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and I certainly am weak! I just don’t know how to get there.

5 thoughts on “On greed, a tangent, and not knowing what to do about it

  1. I hear you…and I’m so not good at all of that either. Even if I look at how we live compared to 90% of Americans.
    Thank you for the humbling post, Jessica!!! You are a good woman, a good mother, and a good wife, but mostly your Christianity shines through!!!

  2. And this, my friend, is called humility. “There is no condemnation for those in Christ.”

    The point isn’t that we are 100% perfect, it is that we OBEY. Be obedient to that still, small voice and you will perfect in His sight.

    “Be Holy for I Am Holy” —basically that means to do everything with God in mind FIRST and the rest will be okay.

    And taking our thoughts and greed into captivity IS a daily struggle. Even Joyce Meyers and Billy Graham struggle with it and what is worse, they are in the public eye.

    You’re on the right path. I’d be more worried if you were in the opposite position right now of being indifferent. You’ve got heart!

  3. I just spent some time watching that video with tears running down my face. I always tell myself, “If I just had more money I could help more people.” But the honest truth is that in my mind THAT money wouldn’t be enough either.

    There are little things that I do to try to be a blessing to others and I don’t even have enough money for groceries every month. So I don’t spend money, per se, to try to make a difference… Somewhere along the line I always ask, “But God, what about ME?” In the end it is only really all about HIM.

  4. Mama G says:

    I found words of encouragement and the beginning of the answer to your questions (which, BTW, are questions we ALL struggle with)on your link to My Utmost. (Amazing how relevant his words are. My copy of his book is all highlighted and sticky-noted up, and I don’t read it that often!) Anyway, he said this: “If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right.” And that is where we begin. Love you! Mom

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