Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” (Proverbs 15: 16) The word “consumerism” has various definitions. What I’d like to reflect on today is “consumerism” in the sense of “a frivolous and selfish preoccupation with the buying of consumer goods in excess of our basic needs.” I become afflicted with “consumerism” when I cease to lead a God-centered life and when I focus, instead, on extrinsic motivations, like the way I look, and how my appearance compares with the appearance of others. Or how the appearance of my gifts (for example, on Christmas) will compare with the gifts of others. This kind of “consumerism” has to do with a lack of humble self-acceptance, as well as the anxiety, frustration, and envy that comes with this lack of self-acceptance. It is difficult today to abstain from buying needlessly, when advertisements are practically everywhere I look. So I need God’s help and grace to maintain sane spending habits. Today let me slow down a bit, and dedicate some time to heartfelt contact with Him, that I might see myself, and accept myself, as He does; as His child, with one primary purpose of growing in Him. Let me let God liberate me from the fears of human opinion, which might drive me to acquire “wealth with turmoil.” Today I will be gratefully content with “a little,” with the liberating “fear of the Lord.”

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