AFFLUENZA

Calvin S. Metcalf     “Affluenza” is a make-believe word which could describe an ailment which afflicts us all at times.  It could have its origin in the word, “affluence,” which means the over abundance of material things.  Of course, there is no such word in the dictionary but the condition still exists.  We can easily become obsessed with the need to have things and perhaps more and better things than anyone else.  We find ourselves addicted to prosperity in such exaggerated proportions that it affects our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Our diseased “wanters” create an unhealthy ambition which has a devastating effect upon our physical stamina.
     Perhaps there is no better way to describe this condition than to call it “affluenza.”  It is a disease which has epidemic possibilities.  “Affluenza” is highly contagious because it attacks our ego systems where greed, jealousy and snobbishness make us vulnerable to is infective power.  Once the disease has invaded our need to feel important, we can no longer accept the prosperity of others.  We develop a long list of folk we consider competitors because they have offended us by their affluency.  We become locked into a disease which is fed by an arrogant spirit.  
     Once the rat-race begins, few if any folk have the courage to forfeit.  It is a matter of pride even though our materialistic addiction spends us into bankruptcy.  The economic structures of our society keep infecting us with “affluenza” in order to keep selling us things.  We are gullible to the point of losing ourselves in an attempt to make an impressive display of what we do or do not have.  It is so easy to become victims of our own fantasies and be caught in the web of our own ambitions.
     The only cure for the exhaustion of “affluenza” is a commitment to Jesus who puts things in proper spiritual perspective.  There is a spiritual dimension to prosperity which honors God with our affluency.  Humility  as well as integrity build up our immunity against “affluenza.”  When Jesus is truly Lord, our need to impress others is lost in a sense of servanthood.  We no longer feel superior because we have more.  We find meaning and joy in the fact that to whom much is given much is required.  There is a stewardship about life which cures our “affluenza” and adds greater value to everything we own.  So, in everything we give thanks. 

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