Discover the Financial Principles of the Bible

Status Symbolitis

Even in 21st century America, over 600,000 people die each year because of heart disease. Various cancer diseases claim over 500,000 lives. The list goes on an on. Despite all the great advances that man would like to trumpet, it’s sad to realize how many regularly succumb to diseases that we still have not been successful in preventing.

Even in your financial affairs it is possible to succumb to a debilitating condition. One such condition that plagues many Americans today is “status symbolitis”. 

Status symbolitis can affect people of all ages, nationalities, cultures, etc.

Status symbolitis is generally a chronic condition that requires frequent treatments that tend to be very expensive.

Status symbolitis can be treated, but the remedy is often unpleasant.

So what exactly is status symbolitis? It is a condition that leads individuals to spend thousands of dollars each year in trying to convince both themselves and others that they have achieved a certain “status” in society.

Living a certain lifestyle is more important to many people than actually being able to afford that lifestyle. These individuals have deluded themselves into believing that they deserve to live like the rich and famous. They feel that they need a bigger house, a newer car, the latest fashions, etc. They will become buried in debt in order to convince their friends and neighbors that they are successful.

Individuals that contract status symbolitis end up buying houses they can’t afford. Of course they have to resort to creative financing options in order to buy a bigger, nicer house than their income will allow. Hint: If you can’t afford to buy a house using a traditional 30-year mortgage, then you probably can’t afford the house.

They lease luxury vehicles to impress others. Driving a Ford or Toyota is so middle class…only a BMW or Mercedes will do. Hint: If you have to opt for lease payments because you can’t afford the car payments, then you can’t afford the car.

They eat out frequently at fancy restaurants. They accumulate large credit card balances. They are constantly talking about their latest purchase or vacation or stock portfolio.

People will go to extreme measures to impress people and make them believe that they belong to the privileged elite. Keeping up with the Jones’s is no longer sufficient. They have to trump the Jones’s – regardless of the cost.

Solomon said, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” Ecc. 5:10.

People that dedicate their life to achieving a certain status in society are always chasing a mirage. They are never satisfied with their abundance. And too often this abundance is funded by mountains of debt which eventually comes crumbling down.

Fortunately, status symbolitis is a disease that can be controlled. The next time that you go to buy something ask yourself, am I buying this because I need it or are am I buying it to try and impress someone?

The apostle Paul said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil. 4:11.

Filed in: Christian Finance, Debt & Credit, Stewardship

Comments are closed.