Living in a Culture of Excess

Living in a Culture of Excess

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).

We live in a culture of excess. Most of us buy and have too much stuff. We have too much clothing. We eat too much. We spend too much time on social media. Some drink too much and watch TV too much. Most of us aren’t known for our moderation but God tells us that we should be known for it. What is moderation?

“Let your moderation be known unto all men – That is, let it be such that others may see it. This does not mean that they were to make an ostentatious display of it, but that it should be such a characteristic of their lives that it would be constantly visible to others. The word ‘moderation’ – ἐπιεικὲς epieikes – refers to restraint on the passions, general soberness of living, being free from all excesses. The word properly means that which is fit or suitable, and then propriety, gentleness, mildness – They were to indulge in no excess of passion, or dress, or eating, or drinking. They were to govern their appetites, restrain their temper, and to be examples of what was proper for people in view of the expectation that the Lord would soon appear.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Have you learned to restrain your passions or do you just give into them and do as you feel? As you grow in the wisdom and the knowledge of the Lord, you will discipline yourself in this area with the Spirit working mightily within you. You will understand that you are no longer a slave to sin but a servant to righteousness since you have been clothed with Christ’s righteousness. You won’t give into your angry outbursts anymore but be controlled when offended or angry. You will understand that your anger does not achieve the righteous life that God desires of you (James 1:20).

If you are moderate in everything, you will be free from all excesses including overeating, overspending, and overindulging in anything. You see, women, when people look at us, God’s children, they should be able to see a difference in us. If they don’t, they will think the Gospel is weak. But if we truly believe what God tells us about ourselves as new creatures in Christ who can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, others should see us transforming into the likeness of Christ. Yes, you can control your appetite! Yes, you can control your spending! You can find your fulfillment and satisfaction in Christ instead of in things of this world. Please, let the Word of God dwell in you richly.

Read and memorize Ephesians 1, Romans 6 and 8, and so many other passages about your new lives in Christ. We are nothing without Him but with Him, we are overcomers, not victims to sin any longer. If Christ lives within us and He has overcome the world, so can we. Now, believe it to be so!

“Let your moderation be known; exercising an even temper of mind, in governing the sensual appetite, with modesty, patience, and gentleness, in opposition to all impetuousness and inordinacy of affections, yea, to all excess and exorbitances in words and actions.” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary) We can only achieve these things through His Spirit living within us, women. Believe what God says about you in His Word and allow Him to transform you.

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Romans 6:22

7 thoughts on “Living in a Culture of Excess

  1. 7 For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either. 8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
    1 Timothy Chapter 6

  2. This is a hard one because our society has been blessed with such wealth. It is hard to define what excessive actually is. If we compare ourselves to 150 years ago in the US we are excessive by default. Does it mean just being in shape, no debt, not standing out too much? Or does it mean becoming minimalist or like the mennonites (there are quite a few where I live so it’s not a hypothetical question).

    1. we don’t have to live in extremes! Just don’t take on more possessions than you can handle. i have lots of things but not more than I can handle. i only keep things in my home which are useful or beautiful (in my eyes anyway). Maybe some people would benefit from a Mennonite way of life but it is an individual personal choice. God created us all different. As long as we not focusing our lives around wealth and what we buy, as long as we are not getting in debt then that is ok. I am an artist (a watercolour painter) and for me I believe I function better to be surrounded by beauty I can enjoy. God created me that way. He wants us to enjoy His good gifts as long as we do not abuse them! eg wine, food etc all from God but they are not to be our gods. the Giver is where our focus is not the gifts themselves!

  3. When I was a practicing career woman I had a huge salary, a huge custom built house, lots of clothes and other stuff.
    I was also deeply in debt.

    The burden of the debt and maintaining that lifestyle was tremendous. In fact I got very very physically sick.

    In my despair, I called out to our Father and asked for forgiveness on my terrible idolatrous ways.

    I left the job, sold my house, paid off my debt and moved into a one bedroom apartment. The joy and peace that surpasses all understanding came to me, and I have never looked back! Such relief!

    Excess is really a heavy burden, another trap.

  4. currently suffering the consequences of food overindulgence. high blood pressure, prediabetes, etc. broke down crying and God comforted me. he showed me that my disobedience has led to this. I am trusting in Him to help recover my health. God’s Word truly has all we need if only we will obey.

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