Shop 'Til We Drop?
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
“Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT
Many of us, myself included, have been blessed with a level of prosperity that is common to the average American. Today, the day after Thanksgiving Day, marks the official start to another holiday shopping season. As such, many of us will venture out to local malls, fighting the crowds to find good deals as we work through our Christmas shopping lists.
Some time ago, I read a newspaper article that referred to the opening of a new mall in this way:
“… a pastor was so moved by the retail magnificence around, that he quoted Scripture, ‘Jesus said, I came that you may have life and have that life abundantly… and what do you suppose abundance means? This, of course!’”
I was troubled by the notion that somehow our material prosperity is directly related to our relationship with Jesus. Does the abundant life really mean that Jesus came to help us shop ‘til we drop? I don’t think so! Try telling that to the millions of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who will regard themselves blessed if they are able to eat a meal today.
Jesus did come to give us life to the full, but the abundant life He was referring to is spiritual in nature. It’s a life where God infuses us with His Spirit, molds us into the image of Christ and overflows to others who observe and can be influenced and blessed. (See Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 2:14-15; 9:12)
Yes, many of us are blessed in material ways. Yet, we ought not confuse material blessing as a spiritual status symbol. For the Christ-follower, material blessings should always be seen as a means to an end – not the end in and of itself. Make no mistake, God expects us to use everything we have for His honor and His glory. Jesus said, “Much is required from those to whom much is given…” (Luke 12:48)
As you venture out to do your holiday shopping this season, take a moment to thank God for your material blessings. While you are at it, be sure to guard yourself against a materialistic attitude that focuses on getting more for yourself, as opposed to using your material blessings to serve and bless others.
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1. Read Matthew 6:19-21. How have you been tempted recently to store up “treasures on earth”?
2. What steps can you take to guard yourself from having a materialistic attitude?
Mark 8:36; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
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