How to Share Your Faith Using Material Girls
The movie Material Girls co-stars rich and famous sisters, Haylie and Hilary Duff, playing rich and famous sisters, Ava and Tanzie Marchetta. Material Girls follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the heiresses to a multi-million dollar cosmetics company. When the money's flowing freely, the sisters' life is one big celeb party (think Paris and Nicky Hilton here). But when a controversy involving one of the company's products arises, the heiresses' money evaporates. Hard times bring loss, struggle, rejection and eventually-initiative, responsibility and the realization that there's more to life than $$$ and celeb parties.
While Ava and Tanzie may be glamour and money chasing extremes, most teens find themselves concerned about the latest, hottest, trendiest stuff. Everyone teen knows the implications for fitting in and being popular that come with the trends. How do you handle those latest, hottest pressures in your life, in your social circle, and at your school? Napoleon Dynamite responded one way, Cady Heron in Mean Girls responded another. How do you deal with it?
Jesus has some challenging insights for believers when it comes to money and the stuff it buys. Check out this section of Matthew 6:24-34 in The Message translation:
You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.
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.
...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.
Do those words comfort you or challenge you? Living in a world that is drenched with advertising, image, and hot trends, teens have to learn how to 'label the lie' that tries to tell you that if only you look like this, you'll be popular. If only you buy this , you'll be happy. If only you can get invited to this party, life will be perfect.
So look for ways to use Material Girls to talk with your friends about God and money and the stuff money buys. Here are some specific ideas to help you launch the conversation:
- What would be the best thing about growing up fabulously wealthy?
- And the worst?
- Most people give a head nod to the idea that money doesn't buy happiness. Ask your friends if they think most people really believe it?
- Do most people live like they believe it?
- Do you?
- Is it easy or difficult for you to tune out the advertising and to 'label the lie' that tries to sells you stuff to make you happy, popular and perfect?
- What do you think about the advice Jesus gives us in Mt. 6:24-34?
- Jesus also said this: "And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?" (Mark 8:36). Do you think money and getting into heaven are in competition?
- Why or why not?
These Material Girls step up and face the unexpected challenges that come their way. Are you ready to step up and look for opportunities to use this movie to talk with your friends about what's really important in life?