Are you someone who buys things in order to fill a personal void or to compensate for bad feelings? Is shopping a form of medication or therapeutic release for you? Many of us can confess to kind of spending, but can we can reconcile this with our call to follow the example of Christ?
I appreciate this recent post by Stan Saunders at the Christian Century blog that alludes to unhealthy motives for spending. Saunders' post references a book by Sallie McFague, Blessed Are the Conumers. Here are a couple thought provoking paragraphs I hope will push you to read more...
...while we may be Democrats or Republicans, Asians or African Americans, Baptists or Presbyterians, PhDs or high-school dropouts, males or females, what we all hold in common is our participation in the religion of consumerism—a reality that seems such a natural part of all our lives that we can scarcely imagine an alternative. Most Christians see our religious affiliations as simply one facet of the larger set of consumer choices we make, rather than as a radical alternative to the economic and political order.
...kenosis, the practice of self-limitation and restraint, is key to “the wholesale transformation of our dominant cultural patterns.” Self-limitation...is most explicit, however, in the passage from Philippians 3, where, in imitation of Christ’s own self-emptying (see 2:6-11), Paul sets forth his superlative curriculum vita in a contest of honor (“confidence in the flesh”) with his opponents, then renounces the whole game as what the NRSV, in its genteel way, calls “rubbish...” Read the Entire Post