I went to Macy's with a giant gift card and almost didn't use it. Crazy, I know. But here's what happened and how I almost traded something for nothing.
While trying on boots, a well-intentioned saleslady tried to talk me into applying for a Macy's credit card.
"You'll save 15% off your purchase today if you apply for a credit card with us!"
"Oh, I don't need another credit card," I told her.
"Well, you don't have to use it. You can tear it up when it comes in the mail."
I politely sidestepped her offer. But while I was paying, another saleslady gave me the same spiel.
"If you sign up for a Macy's card, you'll save!" she offered.
"Oh, no thank you. My husband was kind of enough to give me these gift cards. So, I'll just use them."
She frowned. "Well, it's a good idea (applying for a card) with the holidays coming up!"
She wasn't pushy. But I stuck to my guns and I didn't walk out with a card that day.
But it got me thinking about the allure of "more."
The call to amass things is very attractive to me. Those Michael Kors snow boots looked lovely and practical (that’s like winning double jeopardy in the shoe world).
The call to amass more things is seductive. Credit card companies are smart. They know you won't spend more money if you're only thinking about a bigger bill. But if they can guide your mind toward instant savings, then the call to amass more can appear like a good idea.
But here's the problem.
If I had chosen to open a new card, I would have traded something for nothing. Oh sure, I'd be wearing those Michael Kors boots, but I would also be stuck with a ginormous bill. It was far more enjoyable to fill a few shopping bags with some great blessings (new clothes) without any new bills! That was my husband's intention in giving me the gift card after all. If I had chosen to open a credit card, I wouldn't have enjoyed the free blessing given to me by my husband!
As believers, it is easy to be seduced by the call for more. And I don't just mean materialism, but the desire to enjoy blessings outside of the ones God has already blessed us with.
Ephesians tells us that God has given us every spiritual blessing through his Son (1:3). Paul tells us two things about those blessings.
First, our blessings in Christ were costly. We receive them through his death and resurrection (Eph. 2:7). Just like my husband who paid the full amount for the gift card so I could enjoy the blessing of using it.
Second, our blessings in Christ are free for us to enjoy with no strings attached (Eph. 2:4-6). Just like my husband who gave me the gift card with instructions that they were for me alone to enjoy.
The allure of more tells us that the gift purchased for us was not good enough. The allure of more whispers to our ears that perhaps we can "eek" more out of our free gift, or worse, we can obtain a better gift on our own.
The allure of more is a lie that ensures we trade everything for nothing.
Ladies, let’s enjoy the blessings we've been given in Christ. Let’s trust in the goodness of both the gift and the Giver, who has already given us everything we need for life (2 Pet. 1:3). We cannot expect to convince others of the goodness of the Giver if we are not content in the good gifts He gives.
Melissa Deming is the creator of HiveResources.com–a site that helps women sweeten their walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and more. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women's Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. She and her husband, Jonathan, have four-year-old twins, Zach and Jonah. They are part of the core team of a new church plant in Pittsburgh.
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