The Tin Monster

A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12:15

At least my intentions were good. I (JCD) once ordered a swing set for my children identical to a shiny display model I'd seen at the store. What arrived, however, was a long box containing roughly 6,324 pipes, 28,487,651 bolts, 28,487,650 screws, and a set of instructions that would have befuddled Albert Einstein. For the next two days, I sweated to assemble bent parts, missing parts, and parts from a 1948 Ford thrown in just to confuse me.

Finally, the wobbly construction stood upright. I got another shock when I read the final line printed on the back of the instructions: "Please retighten all the bolts on this apparatus every two weeks to ensure safety and durability." I now had to devote every other Saturday to this tin monster or it would gobble up my children!

Everything you own will eventually own you! Unchecked materialism becomes your master, both when you make the purchase and when you must sweat to maintain it. That's why I heartily encourage you to decide together to own less . . . and enjoy life more.

Just between us . . .

• Do we have a "tin monster"—something new and supposedly valuable that's more trouble than it's worth—in our lives?

• What do we have that we don't need and could simply give or throw away?

• What guidelines could we agree on to avoid the trap of materialism?

• How can fewer possessions bring us closer to God?

Dear Lord, we are so easily driven by the desire to own more things. We want to live with less. Change us with Your truth about lasting value. We want to hold all our income and possessions in trust for You, the real owner. Amen.

Book: Night Light for Couples

By Dr. James Dobson

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