From Carnal Consumer to Spiritual Producer

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
money.jpgThe announcement was unplanned. The employer went to the microphone and appealed to the congregation to help a poor employee who had lost her home and belongings in a flood.
He asked for furnishings, clothes, everything one needs to set up housekeeping. Being far from home and living out of a suitcase for two weeks, I had nothing to give. But I did pull out a $20 and give it to him, telling him to let her know that a Christian in Brazil wanted to share in her need.
I thought that if only 200 of the people who heard the request had done the same, many of the woman’s needs could have been immediately cared for. Probably, she will continue to be needy for some time.
The consumer society begets consumer churches. In some places, elders become panderers to congregational desires, preachers stroke audiences with warm fuzzies rather than proclaim the word of God.
Change starts with me. How can I leave off being a carnal consumer to become a spiritual producer of good works that glorify God?
#1. Move from selfishness to selflessness. I will think of Christ’s sacrifice and count myself as his follower. The death of my Lord will curb every fleshly desire and encourage every effort to bless others.
#2. Be satisfied with what I have. I surrender the desire for more, the urge to update, the impulse to spend. Out with greed, in with generosity. With God’s Son and all good things freely put at my disposal (Romans 8:32), material possessions mean little.
#3. Seek out the needy. Whom can I help? Who is hurting? Who is a good candidate for a visit? With whom can I pray? I know I have been sent to serve, not promised comfort, safety, health and prosperity.
#4. Praise the good. The good is what moves people toward God. This will be my focus, catch my attention and evoke my praise. By such attention on the good, I may be able to encourage more good works.
I want one God in my life, the true and living God, eternal Sovereign, who will care for me now and forever. Mammon tantalizes, but never delivers.
Spiritual obesity is always self-indulged, gorging on desire. And it always kills.
I not only want to live, but want to share life. To do that, I have to move from being a carnal consumer to a spiritual producer. Then I can say I am God’s child.

One Reply to “From Carnal Consumer to Spiritual Producer”

  1. Randal,
    I am teaching on I Timothy 6, today in Sunday school. I plan to share some of your article with the class. Thanks so much for the good thoughts.

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