I think he would tell us to check our hearts and where our focus is and bring it back to the one who loves us, guides us, and holds our lives in his hands.
The week of Thanksgiving is always full of fun, food, family, and friends. We gather around the table to eat a delicious meal and talk about what we are thankful for, and then we retire to either socialize, watch football or a movie, or take a nap.
Another thing that is prevalent during the week of Thanksgiving is the hype of Black Friday and all the deals that are going on. But it doesn't stop there. Today's economy now promotes Cyber Monday and even Travel Tuesday sales, which tend to push weeks into December, begging us to give into their advertisements. Companies flood us with commercials about upcoming sales at our favorite stores and our mailboxes fill with flyers. Some stores are open late Thanksgiving night or early Friday morning to satisfy our need to shop. This takes people away from their families and out-of-town visitors all because of our obsession with stuff.
Besides television ads, our Inboxes are full of offers and sales. This morning I had 63 emails in my inbox and I bet at least half of those were ads. Except for one or two emails about resources for writers, I deleted almost every one of them.
Let’s not forget social media either. This time of year is ripe with pictures of the “perfect” home decor, outdoor decorations, food presentations, and ads for everything under the sun. Companies push things like new cars and trips as gifts, things that most people can’t afford. Amidst all of this, we get caught up in the tornado of consumerism that is our holiday season. Because of the mentality of buy, buy, buy pushed on us, people go into debt and worse, to impress other people. I’m not saying don’t buy gifts and do things with family and friends that you enjoy but keep things in perspective.
Let’s pause a minute and think about the real reason for the season. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came and died for all our sins. What would he think about our consumerist mentality with Christmas? Honestly, I think he would have a lot to say about it and give us some advice as well.
1. He Might Be Disappointed
I think it would disappoint him. We have made a beautiful season all about getting stuff and financial stress. He teaches us to manage our money by paying our bills, saving our money, and not going into debt.
To see us swiping our cards like a kid in a candy store and stressing ourselves out to get either the number one thing our kid wants or everything they want would be disappointing to him. He wouldn’t appreciate us stressing ourselves out to buy something big and expensive that we want but can’t afford either.
What would his advice be to us? I think he would tell us to stop stressing and spend within our means. He would remind us that going into debt now is going to hurt us in the long run.
2. He Might Be Sad
Our society’s attitude towards consumerism and comparison often drives people to feel sad. We are supposed to be grateful for what we have and make the most of it instead of feeling less than because our Christmas tree isn’t ten feet tall and there isn’t a vast pile of presents under it. When he sees us comparing what we have to others, I think it would make him sad because it makes us sad.
What would his advice be? He would tell us to get off social media, mute the commercials, and delete the sale emails as fast as we can. Jesus would also remind us that comparison only steals our joy and would remind us we are enough, no matter how much or how little we have.
3. He Might Be Mad
I think he would be mad at the sin of greed and jealousy and how it controls us because instead of our focus being on him, we have shifted our focus to all the materialism of the season. It’s easy to get caught up in the spending on lights, gifts, food, and all the other things that are our typical Christmas holiday.
His advice to us? I think he would tell us to check our hearts and where our focus is and bring it back to the one who loves us, guides us, and holds our lives in his hands. He would rather we spend more time in our Bible and with him this holiday season.
4. He Would Want Us to Be Humble
Instead of getting caught up in all the hype, he would want us to humble ourselves in his presence. When we think about it, we all come from humble beginnings. Sure, some of us were born into different social classes and incomes, but when it comes right down to it, we are all the same, born as sinners who need our Lord.
His advice to us? He would want us to humble ourselves this season by spending extra time with him and digging even deeper into the Word. We can also spend more time in our prayer closets and reach out to friends and family, near and far, and ask what they specifically need prayer for. Then we can commit to praying over those things the whole holiday season. It’s important.
He would want us to humble ourselves with our finances and instead of buying our kids everything under the sun, maybe limit our gifts to three per child. After all, the wise men only brought him three: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Even better, instead of spending a ton of money and stressing our finances to the max, make homemade gifts for our loved ones. You can find all kinds of recipes for homemade beauty, food, crafts, and other ideas online. One year, I made homemade drink mixes (cocoa, chai tea, etc) for gifts, and another year I made homemade beauty gifts because I was low on money. Most people appreciate something homemade over something bought any day because it shows you put a lot of thought and care into it.
Another way he would want us to humble ourselves would be by volunteering our time to help others. Choose a day and spend some time volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Make little goodie bags and volunteer at a nursing home. Spend some time at church helping decorate or anything else that needs to be done during the holidays. Ask a neighbor with no family to dinner or take them leftovers. He would want us to humble ourselves and serve others.
5. He Would Remind Us He Still Loves Us
Even though we get caught up in the holiday season and sometimes we upset him when we get caught up in things of the world, he would remind us he still loves us. That he understands that we are only human and we make mistakes.
His advice to us? When we catch ourselves getting caught up in the materialism and consumerism of the season, take a step back and bring our hearts back to His perspective. Instead, this holiday season we should show the world his light that is in us. He wants us to have fun and enjoy ourselves with a healthy spiritual balance that only spending time with him can bring.
This season as we get ready to spend time with family and friends and do the things we love like cooking, baking, and yes, shopping, take some time to posture your heart in the ways of Jesus. Instead of looking for the perfect gift, look for the perfect way to share the love of Jesus with others. You will have a blessed season of both holiday traditions and spiritual gifts.
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