Skip to content ↓

Resisting Consumeristic Temptations

Resisting Consumeristic Temptations: How’s that for a snooty title for an article? But the article itself is not so snooty. I’ve been reading John Temple’s little book Family Money Matters and found a handy list of ways to resist the temptations of living in our high-pressure world of advertising and consumerism. It seemed worth sharing. Here is what he suggests.

  • Do not read the glossy “good-life” magazines. These are filled with temptations to buy or consume what may not be remotely necessary. I have stopped even opening the airline magazines, which depict a way of life which is presented as normal but is not even close.
  • Do not watch the “lifestyle” TV programs that extol glamorous or extravagant living.
  • Hit the mute button when the commercials appear on TV and try to ignore what they are showing.
  • Avoid impulse buying. When you go shopping, draw up a list of what you need to buy and wear blinders for everything else. Never buy anything from the displays at the checkouts.
  • Don’t buy anything that is a bargain if you do not need it. It is no bargain if you can do without it.
  • Politely decline any salesperson who comes to your door. He or she is almost always selling something that you do not need.
  • Do not be tempted to have the latest in anything. This includes fashions, electronic gadgets, computers and cars. The list is endless. Keep your old one until it makes economic sense to replace it. I still wear suits that are twenty years old. They have been in and out of fashion a few times, so I am not always out of date! While ladies may be more tempted in the clothing arena, men will be subject to more pressure with gadgets and cars. Watch yourself.
  • Do not spend ostentatiously. I recall a pastor’s wife noting that many people who have money often live frugal lives and shop carefully, whereas some people tend to spend freely even if they should be more careful. The writer of Proverbs knew this long ago! “One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth” (Prov. 13:7).

Temple also offers up this challenge (or rebuke): “Women tend to control daily needs such as food and children’s clothing. I have noticed that they are generally very good at saving on these items. However, I have also noticed that men are very good at spending all their wives’ hard-fought savings! An entire year’s discounts, grocery coupons and special offers go on a single new digital camera, mobile phone, TV set or computer. Men ought to be examples to their families, leading in frugality and not succumbing to the temptations of the materialistic market.”


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.