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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 10:56 am | Fair 62º


Jim Langley: Buying vs. Leasing in Life

This may seem quite controversial to some who read this, but I’m willing to risk offending a few folks on this particular topic.

Having recently decided on a new energy-saving vehicle, I was once again asked if I preferred to purchase or lease. In the past, I’ve always purchased my vehicles and as before I stood my ground on not leasing.

These days most people seem to lean toward leasing versus buying. As a business owner, my preference is to purchase and write off the vehicle as a business expense annually.

It seems to work best for me since most of my mileage is business-related. And frankly, I like to at least feel like the vehicle is mine and know that I can later trade it in when I’m ready rather than be tied to a lease agreement.

From a budgetary standpoint, one can make a case for leasing since your dollars will certainly go farther. But, I believe this is exactly what auto dealers prefer since they still control the vehicle and the contract.

Let’s look at buying versus leasing in a much broader perspective. One commodity that seldom is purchased these days is smart phones. Whether iPhone or Droid, most people are buying into payment plans that allow you to always have the newest model not long after it hits the market.

I’ve held onto my particular smart phone for the past four years and I’m not looking forward to the day I’ll have to purchase a new one. My biggest concern is being locked into a contract that leads me into the temptation of always having the perceived best product for all the things I’ll probably never utilize on my electronic device.

Now let’s take this to what I believe is extreme. I can’t imagine renting furniture, appliances and entertainment centers to furnish a home. Since these “rent-a-something” stores seem to be on the rise, there must be an increasing demand for them to exist!

All I can figure is this world is obsessed with having bigger, better and nicer things at any cost. Consumerism is certainly running rampant!

In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul states “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (New International Version)

This is not a disease of the wealthy. You don’t need to have money to love money and the temporary satisfaction it seems to provide. Consumer debt often follows and, as Paul puts it, much grief comes with it.

The question we need to ask ourselves is simply, “Do I really need this?” Yes, we may want it very badly, but that’s not a need.

In 1943, psychologist/behaviorist Abraham Maslow presented his “Hierarchy of Needs” to the world, and the world took his theory to heart.

We’ve come to realize that first we have “biological and physiological” needs. We also have basic “safety” needs and “love and belongingness” needs.

At a higher level, Maslow determined we all have “esteem” needs. And finally, he proposed we all have “self-actualization” needs.

Unfortunately, when we put “self” above God, we are setting ourselves up for a fall!

Proverbs 28:14 reminds us, “Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” (NIV)

In my understanding, putting something other than God on His throne certainly fits the concept of a hardened heart.

Whether we buy or lease to fulfill our perceived needs, I hope I’ve painted a vivid picture that might help you get a better handle on this unhealthy behavior.

Perhaps the best way to end this discussion is to listen to the words of Jesus. In Matthew 6:33-34, He tells us “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Christ-actualization has been working for me for more than 30 years and He’s never let me down. Consider placing your full trust in Him this day forward!

Passages to Ponder

» Proverbs 3:5-6

» Proverbs 28:14

» Matthew 6:31-34

» 1 Timothy 6:9-10

» 2 Peter 3:17-18

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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