I can count the number of times I’ve gone Black Friday shopping on one hand. My most vivid memory of this shopping day was about 11 years ago when I managed to get a KitchenAid mixer for the fabulous price of $159. The downside to that purchase was waiting in the line at Kohl’s that literally wrapped around the entire store to get to the register. I still use that mixer to this day, so it was a great purchase. But standing in line for an hour made me realize that I hated being out in the crowds during Black Friday. Every year, even now, I get anxiety thinking about the potential brawls and arguments that will be displayed in front of small children over a vacuum or a 65” tv.
More and more, we’ve become a society built on what we want and not what we need. We put value in things that we can own…the biggest TV, the best stereo system, the newest car. I’m guilty of this myself in certain areas. In the last three years, I’ve actually become addicted to, of all things, eye shadow palettes. Never mind that I have six in several color tones. Four weeks ago, I bought my favorite YouTuber’s new launch and a week later, a new one from another YouTuber that Peyton, my daughter, wanted. Just this last Thursday, I went online and bought two new eye shadow palettes as part of a set because I’d never used the brand and it was a “great deal.” When does it end? When will it be enough?
The bible talks about being content with what we have.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” –Hebrews 13:5 (NASB)
I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. –Philippians 4:12 (CSB)
While it’s nice to have things, I want to know that I am content with what I have, what’s been provided. Just because I have the money or just because it’s the newest thing doesn’t mean it has to be what I get. There are much better uses of my money than the third palette I’ve purchased or the extra five inches of a TV screen with surround sound. Am I tithing regularly? Am I giving to charity? God commands us to take care of the orphans and widows. Am I spending my time doing that rather than purchasing ‘junk’? Am I using my time and funds to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?
This season, I pray that I begin to have a new outlook on what it means to be content. Moving forward, I pray that the words in Hebrews and Philippians mold me into a woman who’s satisfied with what I have and who longs to do more for the kingdom of God.
How about you? Do you ever struggle with this? I’d love to hear your ideas and stories about how you’ve learned to be content with what you have!