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Sunday, February 22, 2009

What's your first thought?


I've mentioned it a couple of times but we've had a shocking run of things breaking down (boiler, cooker, dishwasher, car exhaust and so on). What's struck me is that on almost all of these occasions my first thought was 'better go out and buy a new one'.

Broken cooker - time for a new one. Broken car - is it time for a new one? Part of the issue is that most of these things we own are actually quite old. The car is catching up the Starship Enterprise for miles on the clock for example and the cooker would have been showing it's age in the 80s. At some point they will all need replacing so considering that option isn't unreasonable. But it was my first thought. I didn't think can they be repaired but can they be replaced.

The throw away culture it seems is pretty ingrained in me and that love of something new and shiny. I am in the words of Lily Allen a 'weapon of mass consumption, it's the way I'm programmed to function.' Or at least I would be if it wasn't for the Gospel.

Now I've never heard a sermon connecting the cross to fixing kitchen appliances so perhaps the link is a bit tenuous. But Romans 12:2 tells me not to be conformed to this world, not to fit into their mould and way of thinking. Christ is the means by which I can be transformed, that my mind would no longer be slave to old habits of thinking but be alert to the coming Kingdom. In Him I'm a new creation and that changes everything. Christ gives me a new heart and new mind, the Holy Spirit reminds of truth and I must learn wisdom and discernment.

In Lev 10:10 God tells Aaron to learnt he difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean, good and evil. I'd take that to mean, 'Phil, you need to think about the way you live in this world, the habits of thought you develop, the assumptions you have'. So, I need to be alert to my own thinking, watchful that sin and worldliness doesn't gain ground through a slow creeping action.

I think stewardship, generosity and contentment are all part of what I'm aiming for and the world I live in encourages me to be carefree (read careless) in my spending, selfish and discontented (always wanting the new thing). I must think and then act differently.

I'm not against new cars, new cookers or new anything really. It's just I don't need them yet. We do need a new carpet, so we're getting one. And the cost of fixing all of the above was far below what it would have cost me to replace any of them, or even one of them.

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