Americans are moving on up to smaller, smarter homes – USATODAY.com
Screen clipping taken: 3/23/2009, 7:45 AM
“For more than a decade, she has urged people to build better, not bigger. Now, as the U.S. economy struggles to climb out of a tailspin and environmental concerns rise, her message has gone mainstream.”
Last week this article was the USA Today headline story delivered to my phone on Monday. I read through the article, finding its content something worthy of being discussed in a Christian context. I find at least two major portions of this article fascinating.
- The article makes the statement that Americans should build better, not bigger. I do not think any Christian should have an aversion to this idea; however, this article takes a different position on how we build better. “Better” seems to be equated with Americans simply having less, whether it is square footage, children (stated as a decline in the family size for 35 years), and belongings. The concept in the article further takes the position that patriotism and social networking demands that Americans live “better” with less. I am not at all taking issue with this position because I think all Americans should have an ever increasing desire for possessions characterized by the McMansions. I take issue because the motive behind the McMansions and this new downsizing is the same, people focus more on owning the right stuff than on the God behind the stuff! Perhaps the best quote to prove the true heart of the culture; they “don’t care if they live in 500 square feet. They just want cool stuff.”
- Again towards the cause of this shift in home size, my second point is that our society has exhibited devotion toward two major cults. One of these cults is as old as they come. The other seems to be a new emanation of past tendencies. Americans today worship at one of two altars, the altar of Economics or the altar of Environmentalism. Neither of these movements can deliver on the promises for human living that they claim. If we save a dollar or save the planet, what will it profit us? Will saving either add a day to our lives? Will spending money or utilizing environmental resources condemn us any more than simply living as normal?
Let’s tackle this issue biblically. A house is most importantly a place that reflects the true nature of our hearts. In other words, reguardless of size a house becomes a home not when the furnishings are in place, but when the people truly move in and begin living there. If a Christian family makes a home in a earthly mansion or a hovel, that home should preach what they believe! For the Christian living in a house is stewardship. The idea of being a good steward of material possessions has its base in appreciating and glorifying the Creator. Stewardship is transformed when one is saved. The real treasure after salvation rests in eternity, not this finite world. Read over Matthew 6:19-21. Our treasure is an eternity with Christ. Salvation will make us desire to live efficiently so can give generously, witness more freely, and invest heavenward!
Christians have been afforded a unique opportunity as America does some national soul searching. The nation is taking a collective pause in its pursuit of material possesions. What better time do we have than now to share with this world the only satisfaction that is eternal? We must proclaim satisfaction in the magnificent, treasured gift that Jesus Christ bestows; he paid our sin debt, giving us faith that we might trust in Him alone!