Today is "Cyber Monday", the premier online-shopping day of the season. To my own surprise, I was nearly lured into making an impulsive purchase within an hour of rolling out of bed this morning! I sat down at the computer with the intention of quickly checking my email. But after a few mouse clicks I mysteriously had a $129 item in my Amazon shopping cart!
Now, I have to admit, it's really no mystery how the item got in my cart. I have wanted a product like it for a long time, but had decided to wait until I could afford a more expensive model that would better suit my needs. But this less expensive one seemed like such a great deal! How could I pass it up? An offer like that doesn't come along every day! Isn't it better to have something now? Something is better than nothing! And so on... Fortunately, I stopped this line of reasoning before clicking "Place Your Order".
As an engineer I tend to think analytically, and I can identify a number of irrational tendencies that nearly led me into making a foolish, impulsive purchase. Behavioral economics is a fascinating topic to me. But is there a deeper issue? Not an issue related to psychology, logic, or irrational human behavior, but a matter of the heart?
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."We are bombarded by a culture that tells us we need more stuff, and constantly encourages us to compare our material possessions to those of our neighbors, family and friends. The holidays are a prime time for retailers to fuel the fire of discontentment that threatens to consume us. Ironically, this is also a time when we celebrate all that we are thankful for, and express gratitude for the blessings God has given us.
There's a lot I could say regarding these issues, and Jesus' words in Matthew 6. But as this blog is centered on our missionary aviation ministry, I want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for all of those who have heard God's call to partner with us in taking Christ's love and reconciliation to the world, and who are sacrificing earthly treasure in order to store up treasure in heaven. My guess is that most of you who give of your time and resources do not consider it a sacrifice at all, because you understand the truth in Jesus' words. You look forward to the day when you will inherit the incorruptible treasure that's being stored up in heaven, and hear the words "Well done, good and faithful servant! ...Come and share your master’s happiness!" (Matthew 25:21). Thank you so much for the example you set, and for encouraging us to steadfastly follow the vision that God has placed in our hearts—to take the Hope of Christ to every corner of the world!