Part One: Where Your Treasure is, your heart is also. (Luke 12:34)
The holiday season is here. I happen to like this time of year because it is a great time to slow down and connect with family and friends. I want to encourage you this holiday season to take time out to pause for a few minutes to give thanks to God for all that he has done in your life this year. The difficulties with the economy caused uncertainty to brew around every corner and I would imagine that might even still be the case. As a result it was no longer business as usual for all of us. That’s right, no longer business as usual.
Now with that said, I am guessing that this current economic crisis has tightened your wallets and mine and you have even learned how to cut corners, be creative and save. I think many have learned that the things we could not live without before the economic crisis, we can live without it now. I want to encourage you to not fall in to the retail holiday gift buying season trap or the pressure of having to buy everybody a gift. Remember, Jesus is the reason. These are tough times and I imagine not everybody is going to succumb to the gift buying and gift giving frenzy.
I am going to be sensitive to those of you that just might engage in some form of shopping particularly those of you that are diehard and feel as though they must engage in the “Black Friday” hoopla. For those of you that are sleeping ‘Black Friday” is the Friday after Thanksgiving that signals the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and for many retailers it is the time when they go from being in the red, which means posting a loss on their books to black, which mean turning a profit. The most important thing that I want to tell you is to not get caught up in the hype. Black Friday really a marketing machine to get you in the stores to help retailers get out to debt. Ask yourself if I make this purchase who is really going to benefit from it? Me, the recipient or retailer.
If you want to buy someone a gift do it because you love them and spend your money wisely and thoughtfully.
Here is my advice:
1. Don’t get caught up in Black Friday.
Spend your money wisely and thoughtfully. Don’t buy things just because you can afford them. if you are going to spend money use cash that way you know exactly what you spending and you wont get high off the credit card swipe. Remember it is no longer business as usual.
Think of other ways you might be able to bless someone with a life that is less expensive. Example: Bake cookie or cake, hand wash their car, babysit, take them to lunch or the movies etc..
2. Don’t put yourself in the environment. If you do not have any money do not go to the mall. It is like if your alcoholic going to a bar would not help or if you’re on a diet going to a buffet is not the move The same premise is true if you are a shopaholic or not a window shopper when you go to the mall.
Develop a plan for the holiday season so you will not end up broke or start the following year in debt. We want to set you up for a successful mindset in 2010.
Luke: 12:34 (NIV) : Where your treasure is, your heart will be there also.
The tenants of stewardship living challenge you to be responsible with the time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted in your care. This holiday season I am going to spend time connecting with you regarding your treasure.
When we think of treasure we most often think of a concentration of riches that was lost or forgotten until rediscovered, like buried jewels and big gold coins. For the sake of this blog let define treasure as something of immense value that you have in your current possession or sphere of influence, like your material wealth (finances, car, clothes, jewelry etc) and your relationship like your friends, family and neighbors. For the next couple of weeks we will be examining your treasure through the lens of the holiday season.
It is my desire that you are inspired to be good steward over these three areas of your life: Time, Talent, Treasure. Time, you must learn to manage your time; talent you have skills and gifts and lastly treasure, your finances need to managed appropriately. All of these areas work together, when they are managed properly you will be able to become A BETTER YOU!
Let me know how you are going to save money this holiday season.
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