For my teen years a lot of my identity was caught up in what I consumed. I worked so I could buy things and pay for my car so I could get places. I took pride in what I wore. I loved gadgets. I saw money as a tool to get me what I wanted. I find my identity in consumption. Eventually as I matured, I started seeing the flaws of living that way. So I started disciplining myself to consume less. I would go out of my way to not purchase things as a practice to teach myself about my needs.
What ended up happening was that I found just as much identity in taking pride because I was not consuming as I did when I was consuming. I went from wanting to be a guy who was known by what he bought to someone who was known by how much control he had over what he didn’t buy. Sometimes it’s hard to escape wanting to find identity and being known based on the decisions you are making at that current time in your life. You want everyone to know you and that what you are doing is good or the right thing. I don’t think consumption, or the self-control of consumption is good enough for us to place our identity in. Disciplines aren’t things we take pride in, they are practices that we enact because we know we are weak and we need them to help us stay on track.