Be Ungrateful

Did you catch all the ‘lightning deals’ on Amazon this past week? What about Best Buy? Target? Groupon?

I’m excited to have nabbed a few good deals on Black Friday. (From the safety of my own couch, after a full night’s sleep; phew!)

Everybody wants to save money. We toil away long hours every day just trying to get some, so the least we could do is try to make it last as long as possible, right?

It seems innocent enough, this mindset of saving; it’s a bit noble even, trying to give more to our loved ones while keeping the roof over their heads.

But is that what we really need? More stuff, I mean. Is it possible that we’ve used the idea of generosity as a license for pride and greed?

It seems to me like the intentions were pure: generosity, happiness, deeper relationships. Yet somehow, we’ve turned to brawling and tally marks as a measure of success.

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Sometimes we get so caught up in current societal norms, we forget the real reason why we come together on the holidays to begin with.

So as we’ve surpassed this first consumerist speed bump, here are three reminders to keep us grounded in real holiday spirit:

  1. Things are replaceable; people are not. The more we focus on what we can get, even if it is a gift for someone else, the less time we spend focusing on actual people. Gifts make us feel good, and it’s nice to be thought of, but there’s a subtle difference we often overlook. We need to check our motives before we set out; are we trying to connect with someone and lift them up? Or are we hoping to earn their attention or a return gift? H13:5 || J1:17
  2. Actions speak louder than words. If we keep trying to buy the love of those around us with stuff rather than investing in a relationship, they’ll eventually think that’s how love and relationships work. We’re perpetuating a cycle of materialism that ends in heartbreaking stories of bad marriages and worse children. Love is a constant, intentional action, not a word tossed in with a pile of toys. R12:9 || 1P4:8
  3. We’re alive. This is what the first Thanksgiving was really about–surviving. We have breath in our lungs, food in our stomachs, a roof over our heads, and clearly we’re in a position to have internet access. All in all, I’d say we’re doing pretty well. That alone tells me we have more than we need and more than the majority of people on this planet. This year, let’s try to keep that in perspective. R12:2 || P4:8 

Love is a constant, intentional action, not a word tossed in with a pile of toys.

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H12:28 || 1T5:18 || P107:1 || C3:15-17

How can you show your gratitude to those around you this year? Is there someone in your life you’ve been taking for granted? What steps can you take in your life to break the cycle of consumerist-love in favor of intentional-love?

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