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.
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?