Not long ago my family got together for our annual Christmas party. Yes, this is the party where my children get spoiled with presents from their uncles, aunt, and grandparents. Every year, I get a phone call in November, asking for ideas as to what to get my children. Every year, they come home with tons of toys.
I’ve noticed a trend though. While most of the relatives buy my children the latest trends in toys, my brother Justin buys them unique toys that obviously don’t come from Toys R Us. This year he got Sam a kit to make a little sailboat, and a knitting kit for Liz to make a sock monkey. What great projects for the weeks after Christmas, when they’re still off from school.
I cornered Justin for a while during the party and asked him where he got the presents, since they were so cool, and I just might want to do a little shopping there. He answered that he had gone to Target. And then he made the following remark:
There was so much consumerism. I had to get out of there and take a shower afterwards!
And then he shuddered.
You see, my little brother Justin is something of a hippie. Long red hair, totally anti-consumerism, into environmentalism….we’re very different. At the same time, there are lessons to be learned from him.
He felt so dirty after walking through Target, that he felt the need to take a shower. Why did he feel dirty? Because he’s anti-consumerism. It’s something he feels strongly about.
As a Christian, I am against debt. Proverbs 22:7b says,
…the borrower is servant to the lender.
That’s some pretty strong language. Servant. A slave to the lender. Is that how I feel towards the bank that holds my credit card? I’m getting there, but I didn’t always feel that way.
If I’m strongly against debt, I should feel dirty every time I use my credit card. I do now (well, I would if I used it anymore), but it obviously took me a long time to get to this place.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than to say I admire my brothers level of commitment to the things he stands for, even if we don’t agree on those things. And I can learn a lot from his commitment. I want to feel as strongly about debt as Justin does about consumerism.
So thanks, Justin! Now, about that long hair….
Photo by David Spigolon.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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