Day 7: Two Pathways to Riches: Have More or Want Less - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals


Scripture Focus: Keep your minds focused on things above; not on things of this earth. Colossians 3:2


At a recent contest for advertising agencies, somewhat like the Academy Awards of commercial messages, the categories were not the typical television, radio, internet, or print. Instead, the competition divided the entries into these three broad categories: fear, sex, and greed.


Apparently there actually is truth in advertising! The underlying message of the awards competition was that most (or all) commercials use one of those three main appeals. Their goal: Motivating you to want something, so that you purchase something. To get you to want something, advertisers typically prey upon you using fear, sex, and greed as primary motivators. They want you to buy and spend, spend and buy.


Contemporary culture relentlessly tells us that we need more; we are incomplete unless we have more. We cannot escape these kinds of messages; they are everywhere.


Paul takes a very contrarian approach in his letter to the church at Colossae. “Don’t get so caught up in things of this earth,” Paul advises. “Instead, focus on things above.”


It’s good advice for all of us in marriages. Out-of-control spending and massive credit card debts are major issues for today’s young couples --- and couples of all ages. Our culture has molded us according to its values; what we need is a shift in our focus.


The old adage tells us that there are two ways to become rich: We can have more, or we can decide to want less. Especially in a challenged or struggling global economy, that second route may be the pathway that most of us should take. When we pay less attention to “things of earth” we want less and we need less. When we are focused on things above, we are rich in what really matters.


For your personal reflection:

  • Has your marriage been impacted by over-spending, or by high credit card or other debt?
  • Is it time for a shift in focus, so that your values are shaped in the heavenly realm, rather than by advertisers using fear, sex, and greed?
Prayer: Father, You know how easily I can get caught up in this material world! Help me avoid the traps and pitfalls of commercialism, so that I can focus on what really matters. Help me to look up, and live according to godly values and scriptural truths. Guard me against allowing advertising messages to distort my view of what I need.
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