"Why is it so hard to keep in mind that our purpose is more important than our purchasing power?
"Our pervasive addiction to consumerism does not stand out in society as a problem, but rather as a sign of success"
Jennifer D. Crumpton in A New Evangelical Manifesto
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:25
We are a week away from Valentines Day. This day, above others is devoted to celebrating the deepest and most profound reasons for living: To receive and express love. It should be a day where we slow down enough from our hectic paces and busy lives to say, express, appreciate, and demonstrate the people who love us as well as the objects of our love.
Cards, flowers, perfumes and chocolates are all very nice but if they are the ultimate expression of our love then we have a sentimental, but superficial love.
Modern day marketing approaches shower us with images that romanticize the consumption of products in ways that equate consumption with satisfaction, success, and wholeness. Let's not deny that purchasing products can enhance and supplement our pleasure and provide us levels of comfort unimaginable in previous eras. However, modern marketing goes beyond suggesting that various products can help you. They suggest that your identity and your wholeness and happiness are inexplicably tied to your ability to consume products. In this mythic narrative, success is the possession and consumption of excess. It is a self-centered existence where your greatest goal is life is not love, but possession of products that simulate love and satisfaction in life.
Love is most authentically expressed through sacrifice towards another that does not seek reward. It is not consumption but generous. Love does not seek but simply gives. Interestingly, it is the giving itself which is the reward, not the response that it provokes.
While I am not against expressions of love that include flowers, chocolates, and the like, what I am encouraging is a deeper expression of love this Valentines Day. Not through further consumption and the trap of marketing, but celebrating the loves of your life by recognizing the acts of love that you have experienced and the sacrifices that you gladly make on behalf of the objects of your love. Flowers, cards do not make you a better lover, giving more of yourself does.
I pray that you experience true intimacy in this celebration of love!
God Bless you,
Pastor M Traylor