“So much of what Americans live with is an economic landscape – malls, stores, and movie theaters, ski slopes and theme parks – in which one’s relationship to place had to do with boredom, undisciplined need, and envy.” Gretel Ehrlich, Sacred Earth
When you drive around your town, what passes you by?
A big box store? Restaurants? A couple of grocery stores? Two of the same brand coffee shops? Office buildings? Houses, apartments? A park or soccer field? Schools or churches? Hospitals?
It isn’t any wonder with all these choices that we “invest” our disposable income on things. In 2007, we were exposed to 600 advertisements a day. Now we are exposed to 3,000 advertisements a day; 1.2 million in a year.
Jesus was asked to judge in a dispute between brothers over their inheritance, but he said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 (CEB)
In a culture today that depends on consuming goods and services, every activity seems to have a price tag. Everything is for sale. But Jesus warned us that our love of possessions should not overpower our love of those around us.
Rev. Adam Hamilton, in a sermon on money, put forth the idea that for every purchase we make, there is an additional opportunity cost that we must consider.
What would happen if we reconsidered our spending choices according to opportunity costs? Could we, instead, buy 8,000 mosquito nets for Africa, 1,600 food baskets for Syrian refugees, or make a real impact in the lives of individuals for years to come through one of the many ministries of our local churches and connectional ministries of The United Methodist Church.
Dear God, we are grateful for all that we have when so many go without. Help us to be generous not only with our finances but with our time and effort as well. Show us the path you would have us take in the coming days, months and years. Amen.