Showing posts from November, 2015

PATIENCE - The Fruit Of The Spirit As An Antidote To Consumerism

I was recently in a meeting discussing stock acquisition. We were looking at the choices that merchandisers have when buying stock. The cheaper, longer option was to get the stock brought over by boat; but if they needed the stock in quickly, then it could be air freighted at a higher cost. I was also reading about the impact of high demand and turnaround in the technology industry when a new product is released - the supply chains making the goods often implement forced overtime to cope with the demand, with some chains forcing 60+ hour weeks. Air-freighting = ecological devastation . Forced 60+ hour weeks = a modern day form of slavery . Patience truly is a virtue . Our demand for goods now is destroying the environment. Our fast food culture is hurting others. We live in a culture that values impatience, that makes demands, that gets things done. Instead we are called to value the wait, to savor the anticipation, to be content with what we have.

PEACE - The Fruit Of The Spirit As An Antidote To Consumerism

Blessed are the peacemakers , for they will be called children of God - Jesus If we are called to be peacemakers, to cultivate peace in our lives, then this must extend to every area of our life - including where our money goes and the things that we consume. This forces us to ask the difficult questions that we try to avoid. Anyone who has seen the film Blood Diamond will know that where our diamonds come from can cause much bloodshed and violence - fuelling destructive wars for selfish gain. This is also true for so many other things that we buy. Our electronics and jewellery most likely contain conflict minerals that are used to fuel civil wars and cause pain for so many people, wreaking havoc on whole societies. This happens because we care more about keeping up with the latest trends and technology than about being peacemakers. Many of the banks that we use make harmful investments with our money that fuel the fires of war. Investments in controversial an

JOY - The Fruit Of The Spirit As An Antidote To Consumerism

I recently heard the quote "Anybody who tells you that money can buy happiness is a liar. Anybody who tells you that money cannot buy happiness is a liar." In other words - as humans we have needs; food, water, shelter etc. when we don't have these things we are worried and anxious , happiness can allude us. But once these material needs are met, more material things piled on top of this does not make us happier. Driving to work the other day I passed a billboard with a picture of a car - the billboard said "this car will make you happier". This is essentially what advertising is about. We are not just buying a product, we are buying an experience . In most cases the perceived benefit is happiness - yet this is rarely the case in reality. Joy is something that is found outside of material wealth. Joy is found in a precious friendship , joy is found in a beautiful sunset , joy is found in helping those around us. Oftentimes our materi

LOVE - The Fruit Of The Spirit As An Antidote To Consumerism

Consumerism and Us We are saturated in a consumer culture . Our identity is wrapped in what we do and don’t have.  I remember when I was in high-school I was one of the few who didn't care about what brands I wore. My parents used to get my trainers cheaply from a brand called "Hi-tech". When my friends used to draw pictures of us all together I would always be drawn wearing plastic bags on my feet that read "Hi-tech" - such was the perceived value of my shoes, and of my fashion. In the west we are subjected to around 4,000 advertisements in various forms in a single day. The psychological implications of the barrage of advertisements that we are subjected to every day are both varied and complex. Most of us in western society have far more than we need - but we constantly crave more. As Gandhi said: ‘there is enough for everyone's need , but not enough for everyone’s greed ’. The Fruit of the Spirit  The fruit of the spirit is found in Pau

FEAR - A Response To The Refugee Crisis

Perfect love casts out all fear - 1 John 4:18 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”   The man answered, “‘ you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind .’ And, ‘ Love your neighbour as yourself .’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”   The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied with a story - Luke 10 We are currently in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since World War 2. 60 million refugees are looking for asylum, and the debate for whether we should accept them, and how many we should accept is far from over. For many people the conversation is dominated by dystopian futures of ISIS terrorists and overpopulated countries; driven by “what if’s?” roo