Keeping Up With The Jones’

I think it is so well known because most people fall into the trap of living it out.

1 Samuel 16:1-23

Reference: v.7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (TNIV Bible)

Explore: One of the most well known sayings in our country is “keeping up with the Jones’”. I think it is so well known because most people fall into the trap of living it out.

To “keep up with the Jones’” means to buy all the right things so that you fit in with everyone else around you (aka the Jones’). If the neighbours have the new Land Rover then you start to consider your next car purchase to be something similar.

If the kids’ friends are holidaying up north then you start looking for vacations in the same area. If your work colleagues are all wearing the latest fashion then you re-evaluate your “out-dated” wardrobe.

Some people go to the extreme when “keeping up with the Jones’”, while others are more subtly influenced by those around them. If you think that you are too eccentric to be influenced by others, then just take a look at the other eccentric people you hang around.

We often spend so much time focusing on how we can be more like those around us that we can forget to prioritise that which is truly important – our hearts.

Application: One of my favourite verses in the Bible is 1 Samuel 16:7. Here the Lord’s prophet is looking for a representative for God.

When he sees a ruddy, good looking boy, he thinks that he must have found what God is looking for. Even followers of God can be focused on the outer appearances. But God corrects him.

Our Lord does not look at the outward appearance, He looks at the heart. And yet, how much time do we honestly spend trying to change our hearts to be more like Christ? Instead we would rather focus our minds on our belonging to be more like the Jones’.

Our ultimate purpose in life is to be more like Christ. He did not worry about what the Jones’ did, He only cared if they had a relationship with God.

I guess then, we should be the same. Let’s not focus on that which does not worry God, but let’s focus on what matters to God the most – our hearts.

Prayer: Lord, we can get so caught up with “keeping up with the Jones’”. Help us to focus completely on You and how close I am to being more like Your Son. Amen.

Who are the “Jones’” in your life? How can you start to focus more on Christ than on them?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.