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Mood Poisoning
11/25/2012
Scripture: Matthew 16:26; Proverbs 13:7; Romans 1:2...
Track 10 of 12 in the Soul Detox series
Running time: 58 minutes, 06 seconds.
Our culture oozes with toxic materialism. The human spirit tells us lies that more money and better things are the two tickets we need for admission to the life we desire. Like a smoker who enjoys his or her cigarette knowing that each puff destroys their lungs more and more, many people are willing to inhale the toxic lies of materialism at the expense of their souls. When our mood and emotional needs depend on acquiring more possessions, more money, more toys, then we are in for a toxic shock when we discover are hands are full but our hearts are empty.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Mood Poisoning
Purging the False Promises of Materialism

Of all the bills you get on a monthly basis, which one do you hate the most? Which one can give you heartburn when it finally arrives? This Christmas, how many of you plan to spend more than you did last year? How many plan to spend less?

Here are some interesting statistics concerning our shopping habits from 2011:

• Average amount spent per family for Christmas: $704 (Down from last year-$719)
• $398 is spent on Black Friday alone
• Of that number, $194 was purchased on-line
• Top visited on-line retailer on Black Friday: Amazon. More than Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Apple combined.
• When a consumer types in “Black Friday” in their on-line search engine, Best Buy ads have the highest presence. Kohl’s is second.
• The number one method of payment for Christmas purchases: Credit Card

Here are some of the stats of credit debt Americans carry in order to have the things they want.

• Average credit card debt per household: $15,799
• Average household debt not counting home mortgage: $54,000
• 56% carried an unpaid balance in their credit card.
• Average combined credit card limit per consumer: $19,000
• 20% percent of 18 to 24 year-olds have "debt hardships"

It seems like every month has a holiday, special occasion or gift giving obligation attached to it. What are some of the obligations you feel you have to provide a gift? Think to yourself, how many of these items can you really afford. How many have to be bought on credit vs. paid with disposable cash.

The Price of Admission to be Cool

Millions of people are caught up in the dizzying cycle of work, spend, charge, work harder, spend more, charge more. This pattern is a disease that is getting worse every year for a majority of American households. What is sad to see, Christians also are caught in this revolving debt crisis like the rest of the world. This disease starts at a very young age and is getting worse every year. Kids use to beg for the latest Barbie, G.I. Joe, catcher’s mitt or a bike now expect iPods, cell phones, iPads and designer clothes. It is no longer acceptable to have version 1.0, we now have to have any and all new versions right when they enter the market place.

How much more are you willing to pay for clothes that are marketed as a better quality item? When it comes to your kids clothes, do you shop for quality or value? What about your own clothes?

Our culture oozes with toxic materialism. The human spirit tells us lies that more money and better things are the two tickets we need for admission to the life we desire. Like a smoker who enjoys his or her cigarette knowing that each puff destroys their lungs more and more, many people are willing to inhale the toxic lies of materialism at the expense of their souls. When our mood and emotional needs depend on acquiring more possessions, more money, more toys, then we are in for a toxic shock when we discover are hands are full but our hearts are empty. Jesus asks this one very important question:

Matthew 16:26 (NIV)
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Solomon really pinpointed the problem when he wrote:

Proverbs 13:7 (NIV)
One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

It is fascinating to watch people these days, there are a lot of people who might own an iPhone, iPad, iPod, but they can’t afford to feed their iBody dinner or their iKids without going into debt. We believe this lie that more things equal more meaning in life. Now you can ask Christians this question and almost everyone will know the right answer, no material things don’t give meaning to life however, if you watch what they do, their actions and debt balance scream something different. Unfortunately many of us have dived into the pool of poison with a “play now, pay later” mindset.

What is incredible to see is what the younger generation is doing.
• 60% of workers under the age of 30 have already cashed in their retirement.
• 70% of them have no money whatsoever in cash reserves.

Yet this group is the largest spend and charge class of people. They act as though they can spend and someone else will pay the bill. Somehow, somewhere mom and dad, a friend or better yet, the U.S. Government will bail me out. What is really scary, they are probably right. That generation has tremendous skills to offer this world and yet they admitted in a recent survey that they are the generation of entitlement. They want it, They deserve it and they plan to get it no matter what it costs even if it costs them their future and for most, their own souls.

Paul stated the problem this way.

Romans 1:25 (NIV)
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

Is this verse valid today? Are we in danger of worshiping created things rather than God?
How can materialism cause us to not worship God? What does debt do to us? Why would Christians make such a bad trade? Giving up eternal blessings for temporary and passing ones? Why do they make short-term decisions with long-term consequences? Living for the moment and forgetting about the future?

Reason is the false promises. Money and things make three promises that they can’t keep. In fact, they have no intention on keeping.

• Happiness
• Significance
• Security

True or False: Money does not buy happiness.
True or False: A little more money right now would make my life a little better.
True or False: If I just had enough money I would feel secure.

If this is false, then you don’t need anymore money than what you already have to feel safe and secure, correct? If not correct, then how much more money do you need to feel safe and secure?

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

The real truth about this verse is not that serving God and money is impossible at the same time, the real truth is, NO ONE has ever done it. Yet there are Christians out there, maybe you and I also believe the same thing, that we can be the first to accomplish it. But no one can do it so we have to make a choice, are we going to follow after God of is money and material things going to be our god?

True or False: My financial debt is evidence of my distorted belief that I can have both, God and money.

Wow, when this truth comes out or when we are challenged by it, for most the defenses come up. “That isn’t true” one will say and out roll the excuses. There and hundreds of them and at first glance all of them seem to make sense until proper evaluation is done and in almost all cases, mood poisoning crept in.

With few exceptions, if you’re in debt, chances are you swallowed the poisonous pill, believing more would make you happy, significant or secure. What shall we do? Own it. Don’t excuse it. Think about it, if you didn’t believe the lies, why would you purchase things that you didn’t need with money that you didn’t have? Our actions reveal what we truly believe: we, love, we worship and serve things more than we love, worship and serve God.

Paul said it best: Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV)
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.