“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).
I’ve noticed the abundance of advertising for years, but this past holiday season, I noticed it even more. The importance of possessions is in every single advertisement that we see, read and hear. The advertising is made to make us covet.
Thousands of examples exist each day and all night, but what really catches my attention is the commercials on television during the Christmas season. I especially recall the new vehicle advertisements. One made people believe that if they really loved their spouses, the recipient of the gift would awake on a beautiful snowy morning, walk down a luxurious staircase and out the front door of a large mansion seeing a brand new, expensive vehicle sitting in the circular driveway with a big red ribbon around it. This vehicle and the grand atmospheric accents were the sign of “true love.”
Another example was a commercial involving Santa Claus. As he walked into the building that ordinarily would house his reindeer, the building contained an entire lineup of luxurious vehicles instead of reindeer. All were flashing their lights or revving their engines in hopes that Santa Claus would pick them to lead his venture of delivering toys around the world.
I believe too much emphasis has been put on the pursuit of materialism in this country and around the world. I believe what the Bible says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
We need to get back to the basics of human compassion, giving and kindness as gifts to offer, even to our loved ones. These are the gifts that matter when all is said and done. The pursuit of materialism only gives brief moments of pleasure, and then we run around searching for something else that provides peace and contentment. Meditate on Solomon’s description of the pursuit of materialism: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Ginger Peters is a freelance writer who resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.0