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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Buy Nothing Day

One of the things that I think plagues our country and our culture is our materialism and over-consumption. In many ways it is an attempt to make us happy, to fill that desire for God with other things, but it always fails to deliver any lasting joy and often just leads us away from God. We are bombarded with advertising messages that want us to think that true happiness comes from their product and in a lot of ways, our society has bought into the idea that if you can get enough money and a lot of cool things, then you will be happy – but it’s never enough. Nobody is satisfied with what they have. They always want more, and the more we accept the lie (consciously or unconsciously) and try to buy our way to happiness, the more frustrated we become.

Jesus said that anyone who wants to be his disciple must renounce all his possessions (Lk 14:33). He said not to worry about food or clothes, but to seek first the Kingdom of God (Mt 6:25-33). He tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:24) and that we should store up treasure not on earth, but rather in heaven (Matt 6:19-21, Luke 12:33-34). And in Hebrews, we hear that we ought to be content with what we have (13:5). Then there’s always the whole being good stewards of the earth thing (on average, we consume 32 times the amount a person in the developing world consumes [NYT])

The big shopping day after Thanksgiving is one of those examples of how some people will do anything just to get some product that they think they really need. I’ve heard many stories of the barbarian, every-man-for-himself madness that is found in many of the stores on Black Friday. It seems to bring out the worst in people. What many people don’t know is that the Friday after Thanksgiving has also been declared by one group as Buy Nothing Day as a sort of protest against the over-consumption of our culture. Instead of going out into the madness and feeding our society’s insatiable desire for more, this year you might consider getting together with friends or family to do something fun like a hike or a picnic or create some home-made gifts for Christmas. Or you could just take the day to relax and spend some time with God.
(And if you’re really brave, you could try doing it for more than one day)

Here’s a few other blog posts about Buy Nothing Day:
http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/?p=3887&title
http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/?p=3949&title

1 comment:

The Hickman Six said...

Last year Ike and I did the "whirl a mart" thing at the giant wal*mart in Chandler. This year Cana and I are planning a "Make Something Day" party with family and friends in Houston. Instead of just being reactive, we are being proactive this year. I think that it's one thing to simply protest and a whole other to begin creating the culture in which we would like to exist.
Here is the link if you are in the Houston area, or just want to join us on facebook...

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=37647128945

Happy Buy Nothing/Make Something Day!!!