What I Learned About Contentment From Watching House Hunters

by Khaleef Crumbley on January 30, 2013

in Christian Living,Personal Finance

When we had cable, my wife loved to watch a show called “Househunters”. It tracked a person or family who were looking to buy a house. They had a list of features about the house that they wanted – some non-negotiables and others, just icing on the cake. They would go over their list with a real estate agent, who would then show them three homes which match many of the features they were looking for.

Content House Hunters

There were a couple of things that always stood out to me while watching the show (besides how I was wasting my time). First, the house hunters would always talk about their current living situation to introduce the episode. As they spoke, you could see the bias and discontented spirit with which they viewed their current home. You would think that these people were living in a van down by the river (tell me someone gets that reference).

I would see people in a beautiful, spacious four bedroom house cry about their tight living conditions because they have one child and one on the way! Because they wanted something that was bigger and better in their mind, they completely lacked the ability to see the good in what they had or to be content where they were.

Another thing that stands out to me is how easily they can overlook the negatives when they find a property that they really like. It’s almost as if they bring out a completely different couple. The same situation that is driving them out of their current home (and making them want to increase their debt) – like too few bathrooms, for instance – is something that they are willing to overlook when it comes to their shiny new home. If they used that same desire and willingness to make things work and deal with shortcomings in conjunction with their current home, they could probably save a ton of money, time, and stress.

The last thing (besides the fact that the show is fake) I noticed is that all of the people are alike. They all want the same thing (big house, perfect location, low price, tons of bedrooms and bathrooms, big yard, etc.) and they all list the same reasons for moving. None of them were willing to make things work where they were and they all felt like they deserved something “better”.

This made us take a look at how we value the things that we already have. There was a point in my life when I used to go to various electronics websites and the website of a major computer manufacturer almost daily in order to find deals on things that I didn’t need. My computer, voice recorder, MP3 player, and any every other electronic device that I owned was adequate enough, but I was always looking for the next new thing.

Fortunately, I was always afraid of buying something that was overvalued and over-hyped,  or I would have replaced all of my electronics annually. Even though they were working fine, seeing something newer and fancier made my current versions seem outdated, cheap, and useless.

It doesn’t matter whether we are thinking about our home, car, electronics, job, clothing, or even relationships; we need to be grateful and thankful for what we have. Doing this will give us a much more reasonable and godly perspective on the prospect of acquiring something new.

1 Timothy 6:7-10 gives us a stern warning about failing to be content with what we already have…

For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I am sure that this show would have been canceled in its first season if more people applied this truth to their lives.

Reader Questions

  1. With all of the commercials and other calls to ‘improve’ every item that we own, how do you mange to silence the voices and remain content?
  2. Have you ever fallen victim to the allure of something new and shiny only to regret the purchase later?
  3. Anyone else get annoyed with the people on these house buying shows or was it just me?

© 2013, Khaleef Crumbley. All rights reserved.

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