Your Legacy: A Life of Consumption or Contribution

The following is a post I wrote for Wonderfully Made’s blog a few years ago. I thought it was fitting to share in this space for those who haven’t read it and also because it’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately – after one too many shopping sprees. My appetite for clothes, jewelry, home decor as well as for a new car and surfboard (yikes!) has been quite ravenous lately. I’m realizing that a huge appetite for material things often mirrors a spiritual famine in my life. Seek first the kingdom of God, Jesus tells us.

I love pretty things. I like to buy pretty things, wear pretty things, decorate my house in pretty things and dream of someday owning lots of expensive, pretty things. I spend tons of energy lusting after, searching for, and investing time in getting stuff I want but don’t need. Like a lot of Americans and like a lot of women I am a big consumer. A consumer of food, movies, clothes, jewelry, make-up, gas, technology, music, and TV.

During one of my episodes of lusting after something I wanted, but didn’t need, this question stopped me: Do I consume more than I contribute?

Will my legacy be one of contribution or a life characterized by consumerism and consumption of stuff that has no lasting value or eternal significance?

As American women, we’re raised to be consumers. We often believe the lie that the more we consume, the happier, more beautiful, more desirable we become. In the end I believe our life will be characterized by one or the other, but not both.

A life of consumption is self-centered; it takes more than it gives. A life of contribution is an outward-focused life; it creates more than it takes. As daughters of God, we have been created and called to contribute more than we consume.

What kind of life are you living now? Is your life characterized more by consumption or contribution?

Photo courtesy Clementine Daily

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