Life\’s Direction

Why I want a ‘Want Book’

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on January 12, 2008

Personal Reflections

I’ve been reflecting and struggling with the consumerism that is rampant in my life, this has come as a result of partially being a technophile but as well always tinkering and trying to restore things.

Recently I was reading on “Zen Habits” which is a blog I frequent (not that I subscribe to the ‘spiritually’ related content) about the entropy of clutter.

Radical Stewardship and my ‘Want Book’dsc00074.jpg

One of the ways that was suggested to combat materialism was a ‘want book’. Basically you want to buy something you write it down in your ‘Want Book’, if you still feel that it is a legitimate need after 30 days then you have the ammunition to pursue it. This idea should help me with my impulse buying. It should also help me to save money and be a good steward of the rescources I have been entrusted with.

Intentional Community

One of the conditions I would like to put on my ‘want book’ is Small Group involvement for items that are over 100 dollars. To some of you this concept of ‘approval’ is uncomfortable, to make oneself in a sense subject to a group of people with regards to the way I spend my money.

I am asking the members of my Small Group to hold me accountable to this system for the next year. I am sure that my gracious wife whom has started me on this journey will also help as well.

Why such a big issue?

And that is just the problem isnt it, If I believe in Jesus, and I believe that He has purchased me at a price (1 Cor 7:23), then who am I to make only parts of my life that are conveniently comfortable subject to this scripture? What is it about us that causes us get offended when people question the way we spend our money? Why be slaves to the empire, slaves of money, slaves of men.

In some sense I get offended because I am a spiritually depraved consumer. I subscribe to the world owes me something when in reality, if Christ bought me at a price then is it not I that is indebted to Him? Surely I can never re-pay him but I can respond to His acts.

If I believe he paid a price for me then act contrary to this Grace, I am making Him out to be a liar. Then I am a hypocrite! Please help me not to be a hypocrite, the less amount of us hypocrites in the church the better 🙂

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2 Responses

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  1. Rick Eitzen said, on January 13, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Great idea! Advertisement seeks to capitalize on both the emptiness we feel inside, paralleled with the desire to have this emptiness resolved the moment we feel it (immediate gratification). The more easily you can make your product accessible, the more successful you will be at selling it. Your Want Journal cuts to the chase by addressing this second advertising technique. During that 30 day period you may wrestle with your ‘need’ and find that Jesus will meet you in a far more pround way.

    I would suggest that 30 days may be a bit extreme. If I want a bagel and coffee from Tims, do I have to wait 30 days? Subjecting purchases over $100 is a great support of community and kingdom principles. Walk lightly with this one as it may ruffle feathers as you suggested. By coming to your community you will make others think twice but if you insist that others follow you on this journey right at the beginning, it may smell like legalism. I have a feeling that we will all benefit from your example.

    Now that you will save money by not succumbing to impulse buying, what will you do with your new found wealth? Will you also bring that to your community to discuss how it should be spent?

  2. lifesdirection said, on January 13, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    @ Rick,

    Thanks for your input, I think you have raised some good points. in response to your inquiry and concern with 30 days, and $100 dollars is, I think that those limitations are more to do with my spending habits and struggles, usually I struggle with technology purchases and those can be 50+ dollars, I had originally put $50 but that might become a bit too arduous for the community.

    Consumerism and impulse buying is something that I struggle with. This ‘Want Book’ this is not for everyone although I would encourage that if you struggle in this way to give this ‘life hack’ a try, but there are other ways.

    Another good point that you had was what to do with my new-found wealth, its an excellent question! When we have the community in mind giving usually, in the church is left up to the elders. I know that personally, surplus money goes to savings and as well to giving, but you have raised a good point, we tend to push the envelope on giving to the church but we don’t usually give to the church with a specific intent and when we do so we are overriding in a sense the authority that has been given to the elders.

    So I don’t know what will happen in short but it’s good to challenge the outcome!


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