Christmas Shopping, Money and Seeking God: When H&M Almost Stole My Joy

A few days ago, I walked into the newly opened H&M and came across this really nice blazer. (show picture) I was so attached to it, but it was just out of my price range. I wanted it so bad I thought about it for days.

I made excuses, pretended to God that I “needed” it because I was preaching that week and it would be more excellent to look at if I preached in a new blazer. I then sent this photo to my wife trying to “convince” her it was something worth buying.

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I had to check my heart, and see what my motive was in buying that blazer. Did I really want it for the right reasons? Was I putting too much of my joy for the week, month or even remainder of the year on having that blazer? Not to say that shopping is evil or that you shouldn’t go to H&M, but when faced with spending, earning and money moving opportunities, where is your heart?

Luke 12:34 really hits the mark when it says this: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Knowing the desires of the heart is what determines whether a purchase is ruled by wisdom or by selfishness. You can want a car for either good or bad reasons depending on the content of your heart.

Where Our Money Goes Shows Where Our Heart Is

A study by the National Statistical Coordination Board of the Philippines shows an average increase of 15 percent on expenditures on the last quarter of the year. The trend has been upwards in direction since 1997 when it was only ten percent.

Knowing the desires of the heart is what determines whether a purchase is ruled by wisdom or by selfishness.

The same studies show that of the 15 percent increase in spending, 40 percent goes to luxury purchases and 31 percent to vices such as booze and tobacco. Which means more than seventy percent of the money we will make will go into things that will really add no lasting value to us. Sometimes some people will even end up having less money at the end of the holiday season than they did at the start of it.

These last few weeks of the month, we can either make the opportunity of building value to our lives or actually breaking it down, and a big chunk of that depends the way we view finances.

Many people go through life thinking that it’s the things that are added to us that give us the most joy. I admit that many times I fall in this trap. I worry more when my salary doesn’t seem to be enough. It scares me when my fridge starts running on empty. But then the Holy Spirit reminds me that if He keeps my soul full, He’ll also keep my fridge full. God reminds you of the same thing today.

Seek God First

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Our first and primary goal in everything, including financial management and spending, is to seek God first. And it’s not so much what we do, but where our heart is at as we do it.

To seek God’s kingdom means to seek His ways and His lordship over our lives. It’s making Him the desire of our heart over money, possessions, things of this world. It means waking up everyday with a hunger for Him first before anything else.

What makes you feel content today? Is it your job, your savings, your possessions? Or is it your relationship with God? Until we start seeking God first, we will never find true peace and security. But if we shift our focus to seeking God and the life we now have in through Christ it will radically bring satisfaction and even add all things to us.

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