More Isn't Always Better // M-Note 2.3.24

I think a lot of you know that I have a healthy attachment to my little orange Honda Fit. After famously declaring it dead a couple of years ago (pictured here), I fixed it up and continue to drive it today. I am going on year 17 with this car! But this past month, Jess and I started exploring the thought of getting a new car. We even spent a few nights the past week test driving a few options. I noticed a lot of things as we did this. (1) Cars have changed some since I bought the Fit, (2) it is tough to find an orange car, and (3) they don’t make manual transmissions anymore. But what I noticed most of all is the temptation when car shopping to blow your budget. You can start out looking at a used car, and it becomes easy to convince yourself that maybe new is the better deal. You start looking at new cars and then there are options, packages, safety features, and special deals. For a few thousand more you can get this, but once you have considered this, why not jump up a model and look at that. This game continues until suddenly you are looking at something much more expensive that what you originally had planned for. “But don’t worry about it,” they tell you. We have financing. You know the story.
We live in a world that is designed to make us spend money. We are led to believe that spiritual desires (think worth, happiness, power, security, or contentment) can be solved through material means. Credit is ubiquitous, and we live in a culture where debt has become not only normal, but almost unavoidable. But when you begin to follow Jesus, you are confronted with a much different perspective on material possessions. Jesus urges his followers to resist the temptations of a “more is better” world, and instead points to a different way.
This weekend, I am beginning a series called Money Talks: How Faith Impacts our Finances. It is not a series about giving, but rather a series about how we deal with money in our life. What are the pitfalls and how does Jesus challenge the assumptions we often make when it comes to our finances. Whether you are stressed financially, doing fine, or abounding in resources, this series will open up new pathways to think about money and offer practical steps you can take to be more intentional about your finances.
In case you are wondering, I am still driving the Fit. There is no new car yet for the Miofsky Family. But shopping alone was an eye-opening exercise, and it did cause me to ask some helpful questions about how I wanted to spend my money. I think all of us could use some time to consider how we relate to the material possessions in our life. And I suspect you know someone who may need to hear this message. Invite them. It is a great series for new people who may want to check out our church.
Thank you for being part of this church, and I can’t wait to see you on Sunday.

P.S. On February 26 & 27 we will host the second annual BEYOND Conference, where more than 200 pastors and church leaders from all over the country will come together to hear from amazing speakers and learn together about how to cultivate churches that are both inclusive and growing. We need a lot of volunteers to help welcome people and extend hospitality to all our guests. You can check out all the ways to serve, see the available shifts, and sign up here. I would be really grateful if you serve, even if you have never done so before.
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