A Look at Psalms 23 Part 4b
Just about everyone in our country has been born into consumerism. That fact is not all bad; there is a time and place for consumerism.
[Psa 23:3 NKJV] 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”. I love how counter cultural this statement is. I am going to be led by God, down a path that He considers righteous, whether I’m in agreement about its' righteousness or not, why, for His name, for His benefit. My benefit is not His first priority, does that mean I won’t benefit from taking these paths that He is leading me on? No, but if my benefit isn’t His first priority and His name is, there is a lot to be learned here.
Just about everyone in our country has been born into consumerism. That fact is not all bad; there is a time and place for consumerism. We have an economy that requires consumers and that’s a healthy thing. When I go to a restaurant I have certain expectations of quality food, enjoyable atmosphere, and friendly service. If those expectations aren’t met I’ll take my business somewhere they are met. The problem here, presents itself when I forget to switch off my consumer mentality in my relationship with God. The consumer mentality is “me” focused and my disposition towards The Lord should be “Him” focused.
To understand more about consumerism, I think I need to look at one key word, expectations. For my role in the consumer-based economy my expectations are being set by a number of things: advertisements from the vender, peer reviews, and industry precedence, just to name a few. The expectation “bar” is always moving with, market demand, industry innovation, and the competition’s latest development. As a consumer I am always evaluating, always searching, always wanting more for my dollar. The consumer side of me gets a lot of exercise and those expectations are primarily focused on me, and my satisfaction. Which is fine as long as it’s in it’s proper place, but that highly exercised part of me has to stay contained. The “what’s in it for me?” approach has become the language for more than just the advertisements of goods and services but now has infringed on places it doesn’t belong like friendships, marriages, church, and even God. The me-centric consumer mentality has overflowed out of a consumer-based economy and has trickled down to a consumer-based culture.
By and large the Church has adopted the consumer language of the culture. I don’t want to be critical here, I would never want to speak ill of the bride of Christ, after all Jesus died for His bride. I think the Church in a lot of ways has had to adopt this language in order to be able to meet people where they are. Many people don’t know any other language other than the “what’s in it for me?” language. Now, we the Church are tasked with teaching and modeling a new language, a language that’s “Him focused” and asks “what’s in it for Him?”.
Finally, it’s only when I really begin to understand that I am here for Him, for His name’s sake and not for me that I can truly live out my purpose. Every man woman and child has one over arching purpose. There’s one purpose that we all have in common and that’s to bring glory to our Creator. I am here to fulfill that purpose and serve to that capacity.
God, help to protect me from consumerism creeping out of its proper place. Lord, I am here for You first, help me to bring glory to your name. Amen.
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