- Buy things for their usefulness rather than for their status. Avoid basing your buying decisions on what will impress others, and choose according to what you need.
- Simplify your life by developing the habit of getting rid of things that you no longer use or need. Try giving them away and be free from having to store them.
- Guard yourself from being overly influenced by advertising and social trends. The goal of marketing is often to convince you to upgrade to the latest, best, fastest, most powerful model. Use what you have until you truly need to replace it.
- Avoid impulse purchases; don’t buy what you don’t need.
- Enjoy things that you don’t own. Use a library, public transportation, a public beach, or a park.
This list was adapted from Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline (New York: HarperOne, 1998), 90–95.
Can’t Buy Me Love
By Keith Phillips
In their 1960’s hit “Can’t Buy Me Love,” the Beatles capitalized on a simple, well-worn truth. They could just as well have sung, “Can’t buy me truth” or “happiness” or “peace of mind.” Those things weren’t for sale either, and they’re still not. While this is a simple truth, it’s not an easy one to live.
It’s a struggle to live simply, though, when nearly everywhere people turn, some new product or personality vies for their attention and part of their paycheck with the same hollow promise: “This is it—the key to happiness at last!” And you can’t blame the hawkers, either. In our money-driven world, everybody has got to sell something to survive, whether it’s a song, a product, a service, or—God forbid—their soul.
All the while, a little voice inside each of us keeps telling us there has to be more to life. The things of this world can bring momentary pleasure and comfort, but they can never truly satisfy the inner self. Only God can do that with His love, and He wants to and will if we reach out for Him.
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