5 Ways to Drive a Stake into the Heart of the Joneses

Print Friendly

No, I’m not advocating any type of murder.

The Joneses, in case you don’t know, are this invisible family that no one knows, but everyone tries to impress.

Keeping up with the Joneses is a phrase that refers to buying things simply to maintain an equal status with your neighbors.

5 Ways to Drive a Stake into the Heart of the Joneses

1.  Identify Entitlement for What it is – A Devilish Lie.

(Wow, Craig, you’re really in a violent mood.)  Well, I guess we should just be clear about the dangers we’re dealing with.

What is entitlement?

Entitlement is the attitude or act of buying things based not on what you can afford, but based on what you’ve managed to convince yourself you deserve.

Paul seems to think that we ought to be content with food and clothing (1 Tim. 6:8).

2.  Don’t be Afraid to use the Word “No”, or the phrase “I don’t care” (in Christian love, of course).

So, so many people get into financial trouble because they spend money for social reasons.  They think:

  • I don’t want people to think I’m cheap.
  • I don’t want people to think I’m poor.
  • I don’t want people to realize my finances are a mess.
  • I don’t want people to think I’m anti-social.

With all those thoughts, we say ‘yes’ when we should say ‘no’ simply because we care too much about what other people think or expect.

Of course, there is a balance here, but far too often we make money decisions to please others.

3.  Give.

Every time you give, something changes in your heart.  Instead of gripping and clutching your money, you release it.  When you release it, your heart is more open to be filled with God.

We are encouraged to give because it is beneficial for us, beneficial for others, and beneficial for God’s kingdom.  Talk about a win-win-win situation.

4.  Find Joy in Discovering that Less is More.

Bigger is not always better.

I couldn’t tell you the number of people who have told us that they envy our family because we got  to sell everything when we moved from PNG and got to start over.  We now own far fewer items, and people envy that.

We are not the only people in the world that God has given the opportunity to downsize, declutter, and reorganize our priorities.  Any one of you on any day could choose to find joy in less.

5.  Follow a True Financial Compass by Encounters with the Bible.

A compass helps you to be sure you’re pointed in the right direction.

The Bible must be that compass for us as Christians.

Sometimes people say things about money that reflect the values of the calculator or the excel spreadsheet, but not the values of the Bible.  There are voices, gurus, and endless words of wisdom about finances.  Yet, we must constantly be reading the Bible to be sure that we hear the Word, the one that become flesh, so that we will know how to please the Father.

You can’t just read Bible verses about money to purge your heart.  Every word and every story is there to draw us nearer to the heart of God.  When that happens, the allure of finances loses its glitter, and a love for the kingdom becomes our obsessive pursuit.

What are you doing to drive a stake into the heart of the Joneses?


  1. carolsong says

    Thanks for this article. Sometimes it’s very difficult to know how to live a life honoring Jesus in this country. People seem to think that a lavish lifestyle is proof that God is blessing them. I have seen in my own life how difficult it is to stick to basics, that I feel entitled to have things that don’t satisfy at all. Four years ago I had to make a decision about finding work that would not require me to miss Sunday worship services. I decided to take a pay cut to do this, but I can point to the faithfulness of Jesus in not only providing me with what I need, but also great things he wanted me to have. (Last month I had money to visit my sister in Africa.) As I go, I find that not only is this a testimony to me and to Christians, but to those whose god is money.

    • says

      What are you stating, man? I relzaie everyones got their own viewpoint, but really? Listen, your web site is interesting. I like the work you put into it, specifically with the vids and the pics. But, come on. Theres gotta be a better way to say this, a way that doesnt make it seem like everyone here is stupid!

  2. says

    Having less stuff definitely gives you the freedom to do more of what you want in the long run. You might have to give up some creature comforts or a slightly better version of something now but you’ll be able to buy them many times over in the future if you’re disciplined.

  3. Marie says

    The social reasons are definitely a big one for me. I was just talking with my fiancé about how we are going to have to scale down our Christmas gifts this year because we just won’t have the money. He seemed to think that that was a clear and easy solution, but I am feeling anxious because I expect my family to be surprised and a little disappointed if we give more modest gifts. There has always been this expectation that Christmas is a big, lavish affair.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think Christmas is a challenge for many people. For the last few years our family has been focusing on homemade gifts. I’ve enjoyed opening those gifts much more than most expensive gifts. Christmas can be frugal and very meaningful for you and others. I’d be interested to hear how it all works out for you and your family.

      • Marie says

        Thank you for the link – lots of ideas there! One thing I am doing is starting early – I just bought a few gifts last week because they were on sale and I know the recipients will love them. I am hoping that keeping my eyes open for good sales and inexpensive ideas now will save me a lot of stress and money later.

        • says

          You have me very close to tears here, Liz. A couple of mohnts back I was asked to work on a non-fiction book for Polity Books that is called Eichmann’s Jews: The Jewish Administration of Holocaust Vienna, 1938–1945 by Doron Rabinovici. It’s a very good work but reading it broke my heart in two. So I am very glad to read of your family’s story and know of the precious few that escaped this unimaginable fate. Please let us know when it is about to be published (I don’t keep track of titles otherwise), because I would like to read your heartfelt novel.

      • says

        Great stuff from you, my friend. Ive read your posts befroe and you’re just Awesome! I love what you’ve got here, love what you’re saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and yet you still manage to keep it smart & to the point. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great & very well blog!

    • says

      Just wish to say your current atrcile can be as astonishing. The clarity for your publish is just cool and i can think you’re an authority on this specific subject. Well with your permission ok, i’ll to take your Rss feed to continue to be updated along with drawing near post. Thanks a million and please continue the pleasurable work.

  4. says

    Thank you spending some time to talk about the folnwoilg, I m boldy a great deal and even true adore studying a lot more to do with now this topic. Even so, if future, when you realize know-how, do you ever thoughts bringing up-to-date all your webpage which have a good deal much more stuff? This really is helpful for my family.

  5. says

    For 35 years we have been teaching stewardship of spending to churches. When taken to heart it enable churches to double their mission giving within their normal cash flow. It involves:
    1 Separating needs from wants objectively.
    2. Every church can free 10% of budget or double missions.
    3 Mobilizing people to make missions more personal.
    4 Give God’s priorities preference over ours.
    5 Learning to live debt free.
    6. Build better without borrowing.
    7 Finding revival by spending God’s way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *