Things are for using. People are for loving.

I love that quote that I stole from a GuyNamedDave. I am so inspired by what he is doing. He is doing a 100 Thing Challenge because he recognized how, as Americans, we are consumed with stuff. The TV tells us that we have a need that is not being met unless we buy a product (and the average person watches 4 hours of TV a day. Yuck! Don’t we have better things to do with our time? Like spending time with friends/family/hobbies?). The media and superstars are telling us we’re incomplete unless we’re wearing the latest fashion, makeup, perfume, shoes. We use people to get things that we think we will love when we should be loving people. How disgusting. Things will never fulfill you or love you back (although some of us like to delude ourselves to think they will).

I love his idea of pairing down his things to only 100 total. I want to start doing this, maybe not to the letter, but to the concept. Store up your treasures in heaven after all, they don’t do you much good once you’re dead (or when you’re alive, for that matter).

Need more convincing? This website is fantastic. It summarizes some of the major issues that our world is facing right now. I believe we need to take action to change but you can’t take action unless you recognize what the problems are. Watch the video, it’s 20 minutes long but it addresses the issues in such a comprehensive way that it is worth your time.

Not only is the issue of ‘stuff’ a spiritual issue, it’s an environmental issue too. It’s amazing to me that it’s not addressed more often.

I’d love to know your thoughts on how stuff impacts your life, so comment away!

Update: Relevant did a panel with some of the leading Christian figures in America and it is posted here. I thought it was a good representation for all of the different reasons to not be driven by consumerism from a Christian perspective.


  1. Posted June 27, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    I recently saw the video clip, and planning on blogging about it too.

    Lance and I downsized from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom place, so it required a lot of decluttering. You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you move!!

    Honestly, I love our new little place so much more than our last larger place. This place isn’t as attractive, or as large, but our mentalities have changed. I don’t care about buying much any more. We have less space to keep clean. More time to spend together. More money to save or give if we want to.

    Keeping up with the Joneses is a spiritual and environmental matter. We’re learning to be content with what we have, instead of looking for what we think we “need”.

  2. Elizabeth
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s inspiring to me, thanks for sharing Sheri. I think most people have a similar experience when they downsize and you have a mindset of ‘less stuff’. In one of my favorite books, Serve God, Save the Planet, Dr. Sleeth writes about how his family downsized and decluttered and how much it brought their family closer to each other and closer to God. It’s so worth it!

    Moving is amazing – it’s always fun for me because I love donating things I’m not using. In no way am I a pack rat! When Jason and I got married (right out of college) I don’t think I had anything besides my clothes and a few storage bins, everything else I’d given away!

    Jason and I have been struggling with the idea of moving closer in to the city into a smaller place. We love where we live right now, we love our house, we’re off a main highway and within walking/biking distance of almost anything we could want. And we’re only about 10 minutes from the city. But we love urban living and the communities that are developed there and I don’t think you could consider our neighborhood urban.

    We use our house, (a 3 bed 2.5 bath) to the max. We often have visitors in our guest bedroom and we have gatherings in our house regularly. That’s where part of the struggle lies. . . It seems there’s a trade off, expensive smaller house in city = better community; cheaper larger house out of the city = no community.

    Who knows what we will decided – we still have a couple years before we’re planning on making that decision.

  3. jesse
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    justin and i came across this on the blog – we have been working on it for a while…your post has re-inspired me. and is so amazing i told a ton of people about – thanks!

  4. jesse
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    *on the blog

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