As Thanksgiving rolls around, I am once again dismayed by the lack of contentment and gratitude among the masses. It is very hard to be thankful for what you have already been blessed with if you are in a hurry and a worry about getting more stuff the very next day. I know the arguments – stuff is cheaper so it is good stewardship to buy on Black Friday. Or, that a person is buying for others and not themselves, gifts for Christmas Day. My answer – it is even better stewardship not to buy at all unless something is absolutely needed. The same holds true whether you are buying for yourself or others.
I am not saying that one cannot buy things for fun. What I am saying is that we should not try to justify or spiritualize our indulgence. We need to simplify our lives and practice giving to the kingdom of God rather than secular merchants. Guys – how many guns, video games or fishing equipment do you really need? Ladies – how many shoes, kitchen gadgets or spa treatments do you really need? Do any of us really think $95 designer jeans are better than $20 discount store ones? Do we really need the latest upgraded electronic device, the latest model pickup, the “in-fashion” clothing? Can we not be content and thankful for what we have already been blessed with, instead of telling God that we are not satisfied and we have to have more.
Are we truly grateful for His provision, or are we greedily planning on getting yet more stuff that won’t have any bearing on a person’s eternal destiny?