Merry consumerism to you!

christianity, Everyday, Rant

Yesterday I went to the post office to buy stamps with a coworker of mine and we ended up having a conversation with a young guy in line ahead of us about the craziness that is the holiday season in America. He pointed out the amazing difference between celebrating what we are thankful for on a Thursday, then fighting over televisions and cheap toys on a Friday. And then shopping all day online on a Monday. Then maybe giving back on Giving Tuesday if you have spare change. That’s crazy, people!

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I definitely took advantage of the awesome deals I found at my favorite online retailers. But getting a deal is not the point. Getting a new TV is not the point. Those things are not inherently bad. It’s the attitude with which we procure those items that leads to a very dark road full of angry mobs and unmet expectations. It’s the fact that we often feel entitled to 40% off and free shipping. The fact that instead of spending time with family and friends on Thanksgiving, we line up at stores so we don’t miss out on products we can always buy later. The idea that we can actually get disappointed if we don’t get our favorite pie at Thanksgiving or the Christmas gifts we wanted or the right color or the right size, when we shouldn’t expect to get anything at all. Because frankly, we don’t deserve any.

For those who celebrate the religious holiday of Christmas like I do, they know that it is a time to remember Jesus’s birth and the fact that when He entered the world he paved the way for us to have a personal relationship with God by giving Himself up for us and dying on a cross for our sins. So no, we don’t deserve any gifts. That’s a pretty big gift right there.

For those who don’t celebrate the religious holiday of Christmas, that’s understandable. To be honest, the secular holiday has far surpassed the religious one and (let’s be real here) most scholars agree that Jesus was probably not born on December 25. So I get the love of all things Christmas without the Christ. There’s no War on Christmas, no hard feelings on my behalf that you don’t recognize the immense importance of the holiday (although, I would highly recommend you reading the full biblical account). But I also believe God’s gift applies to you as well. We don’t deserve anything, so we should be thankful and grateful for what we are given and take joy in giving to others.

Now to conclude this rather messy rant…I’m not asking for people to stop buying things. Honestly, it’s great for the economy. I’m not asking people to stop giving gifts to each other, because it’s often a great way to show someone you care. All I’m asking is for us to stop and think about our attitudes this holiday season. To really think about our expectations, our perceptions, and our preparation for a season full of temptations and indulgence and opportunities for selfishness. To find joy this season in the gifts we’ve already been given. And that is how you have a Merry Christmas.

A Charge


“I have more faith in an atheist who helps an old lady across the street, than a believer who pretends not to see her because he is late for mass.”

I found this statement written in the About Me section of one of my acquaintance’s Facebook profile. Every time I read it I am hit with a twinge of conviction because I know that it was spoken in truth. More than that, I know that in this day and age, it is true. As Christians we are supposed to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are supposed to reflect God’s great power and mercy in our actions and deeds. But all too often we get caught up in our own life journey and our own sin struggle and we forget–no refuse–to remember the charge that Christ has given us.

“Become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, and off he goes and immediately forgets what sort of man he is. But he who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and who persists in it, this man, because he has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, will be happy in his doing it.” (James 1:22-25).

We are called to love as He has loved. We are called to live as selflessly as Christ lived. We are called to give the shirts of our backs and to turn the other cheek. We are called to serve the poor and protect the widows and orphans of the world. We are called to love our neighbors and our enemies. Christ endured the greatest pain and the most heinous circumstances to save us from ourselves. And yet we often cannot find the time to share His love with others. It has become an inconvenience to reach out to the lost and offer them the Light that only too recently has saved us, as if we did something to earn it that they did not. We have grown selfish. We have grown lazy and complacent.We don’t look any different than the rest of the world, so how can we expect to be effective Believers if we don’t stand out among the crowd?

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13).

If atheists are considered more Christlike than Christians we have not only failed our mission, we have failed our Lord. We have lost our saltiness, our effectiveness. We have dimmed down the Light that should radiate from our very being. No wonder the world has lost its faith in Christianity. We’ve given them a reason to.



In response to a comment received on this post: It’s not good enough to be “good”. We all hold the potential to do what society deems right. It is the purpose behind our actions that should set us apart. We do good to glorify God and not man. We do good because Christ calls us to. We do good in order to lead others to the Truth, not because it makes us feel good or because it is the “right” thing to do. If we do good for goodness’ sake then we are no different than any non-Christian. We must live with a purpose and passion that points to our Saviour.