Keeping up with the Jones’

Keeping Up with the Jones’
By Jean Mulquin

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.”

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” 

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
 Matthew 6:25-34 (MSG)

I remember first reading this scripture when I was 16 years old, right after I was saved. It filled me with such peace, because I had been trying to keep up with the popular girls in high school. (My mom said I was trying to keep up with the Jones’.)

Mom was a widow with five kids to raise.  She had to work two jobs to keep food on the table, and to provide me with cheer leading uniforms and prom dresses. She and my Aunt Blanche actually made my dress for the Junior Prom. It was teal blue velvet with an empire waist. The funny thing was that they cut some of the front panels going the wrong way on the grain. There was no fixing it because there was no more fabric to be had. So, I wore it like it was. I was shocked when one of the most popular guys in school pulled me aside and told me that he thought my dress was the prettiest one he had ever seen!

I had learned to sew my own clothes to save money. I was always afraid I didn’t look as nice as the rest of the girls. But, many years later, a woman I went to school with was surprised when she found out my story. She said, “Jean, I always thought your family had money because you always dressed so well.”

This scripture helped me to put things into the right perspective back then, and it continues to get my eyes off material things and back on God where they should be today!

Are you making “things” too important in your life? Try making a list of some of those things.

Does the realization that you can’t take those things with you when you die change your attitude about them? Why or why not?

Have you been blessed by this ministry? If so, consider Partnering with us or making a One Time Gift! I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers!

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  • Cindy D May

    That’s a great story Jean!! And really neat that your mom spoke into your life and you took it to heart.