Many people spend their entire lives trying to acquire more, or higher quality, material things, and often they don’t question why. It’s almost as though accumulation and nonessential spending is the default hobby for those who haven’t intentionally created other objectives for their lives and their money based on their values.
Perhaps the appeal is the little bit of fun that new things bring. Yet the newness keeps wearing off, so people subconsciously are compelled to acquire more and more. While a generally intentional person might occasionally make a purchase based on a whim, for some, this addiction to newness can become systemic and catastrophic.
While greed has external symptoms and can be more readily observed, it may very well not be the primary struggle. Many people subconsciously acquire material goods to demonstrate to friends, family, and neighbors that they, the owner, are important, and have value. They’ve got something to prove, perhaps to a parent who never approved of them, to a brother who is always bragging about his recent acquisitions, or maybe to themselves.
Overcoming the fear influence that lurks beneath the surface is usually a much bigger challenge than overcoming greed. Many people wrestle with not knowing who they really are, or why their lives are important and significant. They may be unaware of their purpose or calling, which leaves them not only anxious, but particularly vulnerable to the pull of a consumer-driven culture or the opinions of other people. While the financial impact of these issues is obvious, they are fundamentally spiritual issues.
Can you identify ways that your philosophies or spiritual health have impacted your financial decisions (whether for the good or the bad)?