Thursday, March 3, 2011

So I was thinking about...

Luxury: noun-
a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity: Gold cufflinks were a luxury not allowed for in his budget.

I like the last part of that definition especially. 'Or refinement of living rather than a necessity'
What are the necessities, hmm? Food and water, to start. Those are physical necessities, along with air (or Oxygen for us humans), heat, and...what else? Or is that all a human needs to just live? Of course that is the baseline for standard of living, although I would call that mere survival. So maybe something else...
What about saying physical, emotional/mental, social, and spiritual needs. (I am doing my best to include the whole of a human here, feel free to let me know if I missed anything!) Is a couch necessary? I would say it is not. It is a luxury.
Is a hot shower necessary? Again, I would say that it is a luxury.
What about running water?
A bed?
Delicious food?
Fruit juice, or pop, or tea?
Candy, or whatever tickles your fancy?

And now, I think the challenge is to find somewhere (in America) that does not have at least three of those things. Yes, most gas stations do not have beds or a hot shower, but it is pretty easy to find some candy and pop there, along with running water. I will admit my ignorance in that I do not know what it is like to live without these luxuries. I do not know what it would be like to live in America and not have a bed to sleep on. I have been very, very, very, fortunate in that respect. I do not know what it is like to live in need/want.
Paul, on the other hand, knew exactly what that was like: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)
He also knew what it was that gave him the strength to live, even when those luxuries were not present: For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Paul knew 'the secret of being content' at all times. Since his time, certainly the standard of living has changed, and I think that is good, because it helps people (and that is good, right? Yet it has been suggested that the 8th wonder of the world is the gap between rich and poor.). So I know the analogy is not perfect, but go with me here.
We have all this luxury. We have hot food, warm beds, hot showers, running water, all these things and so much more, in such abundance (in America). Yet, who is still searching for more? I know I was, and am, and will continue to be. It seems to me that many people today search for fulfillment in luxuries: we have large houses, attractive spouses, a fast car, lots of money, or oodles of fans. But where does that get us? If the luxuries are simply 'a refinement of living rather than a necessity' do you think we may be missing out on the necessities by striving for the luxuries?
I really don't know where that question came from. Which makes me think that it did not originate in my brain.
What were the necessities? Physical, emotional/mental, social, and spiritual, right? I could be wrong, and please let me know if you think I am, but those seem to be the ones that stick out to me. Mayhaps we are searching for luxuries, such as more money, or better clothes, or a better GPA, while we neglect the necessities: sleep, friends, our own mental stability.

You may have noticed that I have not mentioned much about the spiritual side of things.
That is partially because I feel like God is really the only thing we NEED. Moses was on the mountain with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, and he did not eat or drink (or probably sleep). Ok, so the verse does not literally say Moses did not eat or drink, but I'll let you decide that (Exodus 24:18).


  1. "do you think we may be missing out on the necessities by striving for the luxuries?"

    --nice. I think you hit it perfectly with this.
    Also this is the problem with america; children around the world die from hunger every day, but all americans worry about is having to pay an extra 20 cents for gas, and whether or not their sports team is going to win some game. The selfishness there is awful; if you've ever seen video footage of kids or starving people who don't have anything, while America has everything, it's sickening

  2. Thank you for the comment Matthew, I appreciate it :)

    And that selfishness is exactly what I want to eliminate from my life...I still have a ways to go, certainly, but I will not give up :)

  3. "What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

    Part of me really wants to just live in a cardboard box, eat what's given to me, and praise God for the life He has given me. I'm not that radical, but I think it's necessary to understand that we can make it in life relying only on God. He will provide.

  4. You know, that is something that I have also thought about. Maybe not permanently, but just meeting some homeless people and try living with them for a little while. I think it would be an eye-opening experience. And definitely a way to experience God's blessings and faithfulness!