Consumerism is the selfish and frivolous collecting of products or economic materials. A consumerist society is one that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts.
Today, most people buy goods not because they need them but because society through advertisements make people measure their value based on the things they consume. Your ability to buy the latest phone, wear the latest style of clothing and shoes, ride in the latest models of the expensive brands of cars etc. determine the value society places on you.
Companies also ensure that they produce new models (which may not even be an improved version of the old) of their products very often to entice consumers. In effect, materialism, greed, and discontentment have become the common syndrome of society.
The average Ghanaian uses more than one phone (one phone for MTN, another for Vodafone etc.). There are those who change their phones each year, those who sew every new dress style that comes up, buy every new model or colour of bag, shoes, electronic gadget etc.
In the midst of this, Jesus’ words come to us strongly that “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Apostle Paul says, “We brought nothing into the world and we CANNOT take anything out of the world.”
It is very easy to be caught up in this consumerist behaviour but Christ warns us to guard our hearts against all forms of greed. When we cultivate the attitude of contentment, we will realise that many of the things we struggle for, add little or no value to us.
Instead of pursuing materialism, Apostle Paul admonishes us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness.