Getting Rid Of Materialism

Money IS NOT BAD.  I knew you would like that statement.  There, now that I have your attention, one of the most difficult things to learn in this life is how to be content with what we have.  Let’s face it, we all would enjoy a better job, a nicer car, a little bit more stuff and additional convenience.  As I was back to school shopping I caught what I call the “more bug”  We need more, more and more!  This is not true and this though has the power to absolutely RUIN us!  Why is it that so many of us are dissatisfied with our current circumstances?  Probably because we have been fed the lies that a materialistic culture saturated with marketing breeds.  We are the most marketed culture EVER!

SO NOW that we have established we have this dysfunctional disease called materialism, what do we do to get rid of it??

It’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have.

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“…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,”  Proverbs 30:8

5 Ways to Get Rid Of Materialism

#1 Stop Comparing: One of the foolish things we tend to do is compare our own standing financially with others.  This is as simple as visiting someone’s home and seeing they have “nicer stuff” than you. Their TV is flat screen, their refrigerator is stainless steel, their house has new carpet, and on and on the comparing goes.  What has God blessed you with? Do you feel it is enough? There will always be someone who has nicer things than you do.  It is not about what you have, but how satisfied are you with what you have.

#2 Give First: Try this for 30 days and see if it doesn’t reorient your financial life.  Ask God how much you should give and to whom and then obey.  When you give, you are saying to your money, “you don’t own me and I will not be mastered by you.”  After you give celebrate by telling NO ONE!  Just quietly develop the lifestyle of generosity without the approval of others.  Then you will ensure you are not doing it for man’s approval, but rather for God’s.

#3 Eliminate Entitlement:  You do not DESERVE a new <fill in the blank>.  Entitlement is destroying the financial future of the next generation. Work an honest wage for an honest job and learn to wait for what you want or think you need.  No one owes you anything.  God’s chief purpose for your life is not for you to be rich, but you were born to glorify God with all you have.  This means you must pray to God that he will rid you of thinking you are better than other people.

#4 Pray Continually: Beating materialism on your own is one of the most foolish things you can attempt to do, especially if it is something you have struggled with in the past.  God has to literally root this out of you.  You will have to plead with Him to beat down and subvert your fleshly desires for more things.  The SALE sign may be your worst enemy.

#5 Get Accountability: You will almost always be better at this if you have someone walking along side you.  Is this a problem for you?  If you can’t submit to someone in your finances, you will have problems growing.  How bad do you want to beat this? Don’t justify and call a want a need, you know what that means.

Contentment isn’t easy, but it will only come from a close relationship and dependence on Jesus.

MFB graphic

Our Financial Breakthru Series continues Sunday at 217church.  Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:

February 26 – Work / With all your Strength – WATCH THE MESSAGES HERE

March 5 – Give / Give up control

March 12 – Save / Plan for the future

March 19 – Live / With NO regrets

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here 



When Your Life Gets Stale

After a week away from my house I opened the refrigerator and there it was lurking, the smell of staleness.  The minute I opened up the door I knew something wasn’t right.  So I began searching and in the bottom fruit drawer, there was a rotten piece of fruit.  It was disgusting!  So bad I didn’t even want to touch it.  What was once a ripe perfect peach was now a moldy, discolored, smelly, contaminated, no longer fit for consumption piece of garbage. Maybe you feel like you were once bearing fruit, but now, its all gone bad.

What was once meant for our benefit has now turned toxic to us. 

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I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing..”   John 15:5

You are probably no stranger to spiritual stagnation.  You know that time in your life where you are reading the bible, praying, worshiping, a part of a small group family and yet NOTHING seems to help and you don’t feel close to God?  You are in the “desert” and there doesn’t feel like there is even a way out.  Hold on and calm down, Jesus knows how you feel, and He is probably closer than you think.

4 Things To Do When Life Feels STALE:  Keep It #FRESH

#1 Call Out to God –  When Jesus felt alone and abandoned, He actually cried out to God, “my God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  I call this the good enough principle.  If it is good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.  What are you afraid of?  God is listening to you and is waiting to hear you cry out to him.  Until you realize your desperation you will fall into the trap of mediocrity.

#2 Get AwayI don’t think I can ever beat the drum of practicing sabbath enough.  Why?  because we don’t do it enough.  On your sabbath, confess your sins.  This means you are using this as a time to detox.  Is there anyone you need to forgive?  Is there a problem you need help with?  Is there a debt that is unpaid you are ignoring?  Getting away gives us perspective.  Recently, as my wife and I went on a sabbath retreat together, as we left NJ and were on the road, we felt like all of the sudden we saw things with a different perspective.  It was refreshing!

#3 Change Your Routine Maybe you are the one who needs changing and God wants you to change.  We tend to cling to routine and then say, “this is just how God speaks to me.”  Maybe God wants to take you through a new season in your life where you hear His voice differently.  Maybe you should “sing a new song”  To God.  So many times we live on yesterday’s blessings and last year’s harvest.  You need a #fresh blessing from God with a #fresh word and a #fresh revelation from Him.  Change it up!

#4 Obey –  What was the last thing you felt God told you to do?  Did you do it, or are you still running?  Many times we don’t hear the voice of God because we are running from the call on our lives.  God simply wants us to do the last thing he told us.  (And by the way, the closer you get to Him, sometimes the more unreasonable these things become)  Many distractions get in the way:  money, convenience, comfort, laziness, and as long as you stay in your comfort zone he will probably keep you in the desert.

We have all been there and I don’t know how long your season will last, but NEVER give up on God’s #FRESH START for you.


Join us at 217church this week for our new summer series #JERSEYFRESH! #Summer2014

June 15 – Fresh Vision

June 22 – Fresh Perspective

June 29 – Fresh Grace

July 6 – Fresh Relationships

Jersey Fresh Clean 2


Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit for more information.  Celebrate Father’s Day with us Sunday June 15th