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Keeping Up With The Joneses

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery…………..17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Exodus 20: 1 – 17

GOD has just freed the Israelites from the powers of Egypt  and called upon Moses to come to the top of Mount Sinai, the above scripture is part of the new system of laws that GOD is giving to Moses for the people.

After reading the scriptures above, one would stand to reason that it is not right to want what others have.  Yet in our society today it is hard to find someone who truly does not want what others have.  In fact, it is now a way of life, hence the common idiom “Keeping up with the  Joneses.”  We as Christians, and yes I am not immune to this, are all guilty in some form or another.

clothesAs I was folding the laundry for the family that I work for a question popped into my head. Why do you buy the clothes that you do?  Is it because you like it or that it is fashionable, or is it because of the name?

If you purchase clothes because of the brand name, why?  How am I to know who the designer of your certain piece of clothing is?  The only way someone would actually know is if they asked you personally, or the name was in a very visible place on the article itself.  Buying clothing because it is fashionable is not as questionable as buying for the name brand.  However, it would stand to reason that you are buying the item to be on trend with everyone else.  You will sometimes here people say “oh that style is so last year”, which in turn makes most people want to go and buy the latest styles just to keep up.

I say buy something because you like it, not because of who made it or if its the latest rage in fashion.  Honestly I’d rather be comfortable in something that isn’t currently in style, than be uncomfortable in something that is.  Not to mention the cost of keeping up with the current styles.

That brings me to another part of trying to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Cost, have you seen how much things are costing now days.  It seems like the less fabric there is to an item, the more it costs.  Not to mention paying for someones name on the item, once you add a certain name to it the prices doubles.

Does the higher price mean that the item will last longer.  Well in my experience, that is  not true at all.  Somethings maybe more durable at a higher price, but for the most part, they all wear the same and need replaced about the same time.  I can say though that I have run into a few name brand items that have actually worn out quicker than those with a significantly lower price tag.

It’s funny to see how people act about having a name brand item.  It’s like it makes them a better person, and can fix any of their flaws.  I hate to tell them that it isn’t true at all.  The saying, “Clothes don’t make the man, it is the man who makes the clothes”, would apply here.  People who are infatuated with name brands seem to worship them. Which would bring me to three other laws that GOD gave Moses while on Mount Sinai:

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me
Exodus 20: 3 – 5

Now I know this is speaking of building alters and statues of things other than God to worship, but honestly what some people do with their name brand items could be considered worshiping. I have a friend who saved money and bought a name brand purse. We were out of town and staying in a hotel, sharing a room. I woke up, and noticed that she was sleeping with her purse right beside her on the pillow. To me that is taking it a bit too far.

I know, I know I have to place some blame on myself as well.  I do have some name brand items in my closet, however I do not go around advertising that I do, nor do I think that by having expensive items does that make me a better person.

I for one have been taught that there is always a deal to find, and I can confidently say that most of my name brand items have come to me used or in a very discounted form.  I have not paid full price for most of what I have.  I will go to consignment stores, thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets just to get a good deal.  I can look at someones thirty dollar name brand shirt, and say “wow, I bought mine for three quarters of that price.”

I think it’s time we as a country take a step back and really think about what we are putting value in.  If we spent less on name brands we would have more to give. If we spent less time worrying about who has what then we would have more time for things that truly matter.

Article submitted by Misty Holmes: Full-time nanny, recently married. Just had to much espresso today.

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