Greedy Little Beggars

If I ever meet the guy who invented the gift card he’s gonna get a serious wedgie from me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them and we’ve received a good number of them over the years and they are always a blessing, but I guarantee you the guy who thought those things up was childless.

All the parents know what I am talking about.

How can you make it through the largest gift giving holiday of the year and rack up the loot like my boys did and still not rest until those Target gift cards are wiped clean? Seriously… its a mystery to me.

But, there we were… digging out from a landslide of wrapping paper and mostly empty boxes. I say mostly empty because the 24 hours that had transpired since the opening extravaganza of Christmas morning was not enough time to actually play with everything they had received.

Still, we were loading up the truck for a move to Beverly (oops, sorry, that was a Nick at Night flash back… let’s try that again).

Still, we were loading up the car for a trip to department store madness. Sad as it was, we ran into half a dozen other families doing the exact same thing. Even more amazing was the fact that every parent we talked to agreed that what we, and they, were doing was completely ridiculous.

It reminds me of this passage from Proverbs:


4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Pr 23:4-5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

How many times have you worn yourself out trying to acquire; working, shopping, researching, bargaining. And we all know, the new wears off way too fast.

When you boil it all down, it’s simply a problem with good ol’ greed. We can pretty it up with different words, hidden motives and well thought out rationales, but the truth is most of us are addicted to stuff.

Halfway through our post-holiday buying spree our boys tried to clean it up by churchifying things. They decided not to get anything… for themselves.

Instead they would buy each other some stuff, that coincidentally they also wanted.

It’s not all about being a Scrooge, Donald Trump or that guy Patrick Swayze had to take down in Roadhouse (man, that guy was a greedy jerk).

Greed is usually a lot more subtle than that, but still just as devastating. It’s a problem for almost all of us.

Do you realize how you could change your finances, your schedule, your life if you could just get this greed issue under control. I pray that 2008 is the year that we all ‘have the wisdom to show restraint.’

God, please give us the strength to be thankful for what we have, disciplined to resist the things we do not need and content in all our days. You have already been so very good to us.

Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holy-days. I look forward to seeing you soon, but right now I have to go figure out what to do with my Christmas bonus check. We really don’t know what to do with it so we’ll probably use our gift card to Applebees and talk it out over dinner.

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