Money & Finances From Consumerism to Simplicity

By Michelle Williams


In the first week of the Well Spent: Redeeming Stewardship sermon series at Grace Church, we learned this: If you want to be as fruitful and productive as possible, you cannot live with the 1st soil mentality that God has nothing to do with finances. God owns it all.

The 2nd soil is Rocky Soil; a life of limited fruit. The soil is thin, and any roots from the seed don’t grow very deep before the plants wither and die in the sun. The 2nd soil life is one of chosen financial struggles, and this person is unable to save or be generous. Greed, covetousness and consumerism call the shots on a 2nd soil farm.
Author David Goetz calls consumerism “the true religion of the suburbs,” and asks the question, “Could this obsession with the good life just out of my grasp be a covert manifestation of evil in my life?” Dave Rod pointed us to Proverbs 30:8 to prepare us for how to move from a 2nd soil life to the 4th soil:

Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.

Leaving the 2nd soil mentality behind to become the steward of a fertile 4th soil life hinges on one huge decision: You must take a vow of simplicity. The constant acquisition of new stuff in an effort to achieve the good life must cease. If you’re living life with rocky soil, the first step in stewarding your soul is to start picking the rocks from the soil.

Use this framework of questions to start identifying those rocks and simplifying your life:

  • Can I do without it?

  • Is it a need or a want?

  • Is this a status purchase?

  • Is this to help me portray a different image?

  • Does it need to be this big?

  • Do I need this much of it?

  • Can I borrow it?

  • Can I fix it or make it myself?

To dig down further, consider your spending habits in 5 of life’s most important big purchases:

  1. Housing—Do you buy more than you need?

  2. Transportation—Is a new vehicle always necessary, or is used sufficient?

  3. Vacations—Is the frequency and cost of your travel excessive or reasonable?

  4. Education—Do our students need to graduate strapped with massive debt?

  5. Weddings—Is the success of the celebration tied to its price tag?


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