11/25/18 - A Christmas Shopping Warning
“For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.” (Psalms 10:3)
While not trying to put a damper on anyone’s seasonal joy or the generosity of anyone’s gift-giving, we need to take a good hard look at our heart’s desire at this time of year. We are all impressionable. We are bombarded with advertisements enticing us to buy, Buy, BUY! The sale ads try to convince us that we need to spend as much as we can, as soon as we can, so we don’t miss out.
In the 10th Psalm, David writes of the Lord’s compassion on the fatherless and the oppressed (verse 18). He warns us against pride, cursing, deceit, fraud, mischief, and vanity (verse 7). He reminds us not to forget that God is watching and nothing escapes His knowledge (verse 11). Surely our concern for others should take precedence over us getting everything we want. Perhaps during this time of thanksgiving and self-fulfillment, we should give special attention to the needs of others around us.
The Scriptures draw a sharp contrast between the temptations of covetousness and acts of goodness that are pleasing to God. In the 10 commandments to Israel, the final commandment was a decree against covetousness. In the New Testament, covetousness is equated with idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth forever” (I John 2:15-17). In describing the nature of temptation, he twice mentions lust, and once mentions pride. Surely these things destroy one’s relationship with God and all that is truly good and of eternal value.
The warning to the wise and godly is this: Keep your eyes on the Lord as you go about this holiday season. Focus on the things that are of true eternal significance, and don’t lose sight of these for the glittery things that Satan uses to distract us. Show some extra love, kindness, and generosity to someone else. Make the words of the Lord Jesus real in your life, “how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).