Did you grow up in the United States? If so, then you are probably a habitual consumer. Consuming isn’t necessarily a bad thing (gotta eat to live), but the way that most of us Mericans do it needs some calling out. We consume constantly. We think we need stuff, deserve stuff, and want stuff (the billions spent on marketing us works rather well). We unthinkingly consume for all kinds of reasons like acceptance, confidence, satisfaction, pleasure, pride, etc… At some level, the Lordship of Christ is being subverted by our attempt to build identity on something other than Jesus.
Jesus said this in Luke 12:15
“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
That’s a hard pill to swallow in the culture we are in. But that is what God in living flesh tells us! He lived that out for us to see as well. Jesus was an antisumer (made up word for being anti-consumer), and I think he wants us all to be antisumers as well.
Think about it. A lot of people have laid consumerism over top of their spirituality. Without realizing it we pick ministries to be involved in by using the same reasoning that we pick our shoes, cars, pots, and pants. As a consumer we wonder what place is the coolest, has the best quality, and most beneficial to me. We think about what the community has to offer me, ultimately trying to decide where I can get the best bang for my buck. But Jesus lived differently. He lived for the community, not the community for him. Jesus built a movement, not on the backs of consumers, but on those who did stuff. On those who were willing to give everything for him (see this clip of Alan Hirsch for more).
Can we as XA respond to all of this in a healthy way? Let’s start with becoming aware of what happens in our hearts as we consume. Let’s block out the heavy pull of marketers to own us and create unhealthy desires in us. Lets choose to be antisumers, building our identities not on stuff we buy but on Jesus. Let’s listen to what he is telling us to do, and then do it.