For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?”
1 Corinthians 10:29

Did you line up for the latest iPhone? It happens every year. The rumors for what the latest phone will have and do begin. What it will be called? Soon people are talking about their hopes and dreams – for their new iPhone! Before you know of it there is an apple event with much fanfare the new phone is released to a combination of rapture and disappointment.

Then funnily enough large numbers of the last model phone appear on eBay as droves of people sleep outside the apple store hoping to get their hands on the latest and greatest…

What has happened to our world that we measure our worth in what model phone we have? It is Almost a sin to still be using a 2 year old phone, and if yours is any older than that, you deserve our pity!

The disease is known as keeping up with the Joneses, or conspicuous consumption. Purchasing something to be seen to have it.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

Whilst I have taken the time to pick on Apple this time, the problem is much bigger than that. How about what cars you drive? Or the community you live in? Or the number of charity dinners you attend, volunteer days you participate in? The school your children attend (or not if home-school is involved)? There are many ways we are pressured to consume and keep up with the Joneses.

It shouldn’t be this way!

How often do we act out in our lives in a certain way so that we might be seen in a positive light by others? I am sure almost all of us do this at some time in our lives.

But what is really happening in here? Firstly we are conforming. We are giving over control of our lives to the whim of society – and society doesn’t have our best interests at heart!

We delegate not just control of our lives, but the focus of our thoughts, and soon our passions and hearts. All are drawn away from our God, Creator and Redeemer in favor of looking good in front of our neighbors.

We become part of the ‘in’ crowd, and exclude ourselves from what God has for us at the same time.

There is nothing wrong with houses, cars, phones or whatever. What matters here is the state of your heart. Are you letting your freedom be determined by what you think others think? Are you placing your value in being loved and accepted by others because of the things you own or do?

Are you being conformed to the rest of society – or are you willing to stand out like a sore thumb and keep your eye and focus on God?

Something to think about isn’t it?