by Ed Rowell

This content is part of a series.

The Cure for Affluenza (1 of 2)
Surviving the Influence of Affluence
Ed Rowell
Philippians 4:10-23

Ronald Warwick, captain of the luxury cruise ship Queen Elizabeth II, questioned a passenger who paid full fare for his dog to join them on an around-the-world cruise. (Accommodations range from $25,000 to over $150,000.) The man said they brought him along because of "economic reasons." "But wouldn't it have been cheaper to have left him at home?" asked the captain.

"Oh no," the man replied. "When we are away for a long time, the dog's psychiatrist's fees are so high, it's less expensive to bring him along."USA Today (10/25/95)

I'm no doctor, but even a layman like me can see that what we have here is a classic case of affluenza.


Af-flu-enza: n. 1. A dysfunctional relationship with wealth or money; this malady can strike anyone, regardless of economic level; 2. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 3. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 4. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. (From the 1996 PBS special, "Affluenza")

Yet another definition is "the incessant need to spend money we don't have on things we don't need to impress people we don't even like."

It's that mistaken belief that the acquisition of things gives happiness and purpose. Listen to my friends Bob and Larry explain. (Veggie Tale clip.)

Are you infected with the affluenza virus? The demographics of our community suggest you are highly susceptible. The latest statistics available come from 1996.

The median household income nationwide was $35,492.
In the southeast region of the United States, $32,422.
In Williamson County, TN the median household income was $61,221.

Just for comparison, here are some numbers from some of the countries where we are doing mission work.
Ukraine $2,500
Kyrgyzstan $2,100
Uganda $1,7 ...

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