Dave Ramsey says that one of the chief cause of financial woes is a disease that he calls “stuffitis.” I would say that stuffitis – the pursuit of “stuff” – is one of the chief causes of all kinds of woes ranging from financial to interpersonal to spiritual to emotional.
Stuffitis has at its root the lie that has afflicted all of us since Adam and Eve bought the first lie in the Bible – if you eat this fruit, you’ll be like God. You can take care of your needs. You can indulge yourself. You know better than God.
I know this lie has afflicted me in a number of ways. Several years ago I had a “thing” with home audio equipment. I subscribed to several high-end audio magazines and spent hours each week worshiping them and the life they promised me. I knew exactly what I wanted – a Wadia CD player, a Krell amplifier, and Thiel loudspeakers. Never mind that I didn’t have the $250,000 that I would have needed for those three components.
Then, one day I was thinking about my obsession. Sure, I love music and sound. But what was really going on?
I was trying to create my own heaven.
This propensity continues to this day in my life. I still want an iPhone and a new MacBook. Never mind that I have a PC from work that cost me nothing, that I have an iMac from a couple of years ago, that my wife has a perfectly good MacBook already, that I have an iPod Video and an iPod Shuffle. Why in the world would I need more stuff?
Stuff (like any addiction) never satisfies.
We know it’s true. We’re addicted to stuff. We know that the “next thing” will not satisfy. But we long for it. We thirst for it. Like any addict, our minds are filled with thoughts of how to get our next “stuff” fix. We ponder what we’re willing to trade away for it. We spend hours trying to figure out how to justify it to ourselves and others and telling ourselves that we will be the exception – that it will really work this time.
We know they’re nothing more than a mirage in the desert of a God-deprived life but we believe the lies. We believe the lies we tell ourselves. We believe the lies that others tell us. We believe that we can heaven outside of God – that we can take charge of our own fulfillment.
And we fail to believe that God is sufficient.