Buy it now!

Derrick Summeral – October 5, 2023

When it comes to the “consumer” part of our culture, we have made a lot of advancements that are helpful in the busy world that we live in. You can go online and from numerous “web” stores, you can order an item and have it delivered to your doorstep (or mailbox) in just a day or two. You can order all your groceries online, drive to the store the next day, and someone will have them bagged and ready to place in the trunk of your car.

There are websites and apps that track sales, keep you updated on the best deals, and even search for the best coupon codes and apply them to your purchases. Google and other internet services even monitor what you look at and provide ads of similar tastes to help you with your purchasing decisions. There are also services that will go and pick up whatever food you want and deliver it to you. I recently saw a delivery service that would even go to the convenience store, pick up a bottle of Coke and a Snickers, and bring them to you (for a small fee of course).

Credit card companies offer tools to better help you manage and track your spending habits so as not to go too far into credit card debt. You don’t even need cash or even a piece of plastic to buy something because you can use your phone!

But with the ability to buy something simply by clicking the “buy it now” button and have it delivered to your door in only a short time, have we stopped to consider what we are losing? It’s very possible that we are losing what it means to be patient and that we are developing a mindset that has no concept of contentedness. And that we are setting a terrible example for the next generation when it comes to dealing with the wants of the flesh.

One of the great struggles that we face as Christians is living and growing our faith in a selfish world. The model of consumerism that we are living in today influences all of us. Our level of patience is shorter because we are so used to getting what we want very quickly. We become irritated when we go to the mailbox and our order didn’t arrive on time. We impress upon our children that what they want can be ordered and received through the press of a button.

Today, there’s no concept of working patiently for what you want, continuing to work until you have earned enough to buy it, as in times past. We simply pay for it with a card (debit or credit) and go on our way until something else catches our eye that we must have. Even I have been caught up in the “buy it now” mindset. I am guilty of allowing my eyes to overrule my Christian spirit and the logic that God has given me when it comes to evaluating whether or not I really need whatever it is I am looking at.

What can be done about this? We sadly cannot go back in time to what some might call a slower and simpler era, an era where trips to a general store (Do you remember when Wal-Mart was just a general store and didn’t sell groceries?) only occurred every so often. It was a time where what you wanted you got on your birthday or at Christmas. And packages that came in the mail were usually special things from a distance relative. Those times have passed. Even so, we live in a time where there is some good found in the purchasing tools we have today.

May I suggest two things to consider that would help us keep our focus on what is truly important and not fall into the lifestyle of a selfish consumer driven world.

First, we should heed the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

These words are a part of the message we know as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking about the anxiety that so many have when it comes to the things of the world. We worry about what have and don’t have. Yet, Jesus tells us to focus first on God’s kingdom and His righteousness, that is, living in accordance with His will. If we will do this, we will not be as ensnared by the “buy it now” culture of today because we will be focused on more godly matters.

Second, there is a mindset that we must develop. Paul understood this better than anyone on the scene today. In his letter to the Philippians, he talks about the secret he uncovered to being content. For Paul, everything was viewed through the lens of Christ.

Philippians 4:12b-13 (ESV)

12 In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

It might be extreme to some, but for the Christian, he/she must view everything through Jesus Christ. Because it is through Christ, that we see what is most important. It is through Christ, that we think, not with a worldly perspective, but with an eternal perspective. The focus becomes what we can do for others, instead of for ourselves.

There’s value in being able to quickly find what we need, and have it delivered to our doorsteps. It provides us with more time to focus on things that are more important, especially on that which is right and godly. I pray that we will look at how much God blesses us and be thankfully content with all that we have. We can spend more time with our family. We can put more focus on serving the Lord and people. We can take what God so graciously give us and use those gifts to bless others. So, let us not allow the tools of today to erode the patience and contentedness that God desires for us to have. Let us have thoughtfully place our eyes and our hearts on Jesus Christ, not worrying about what we will have tomorrow, but looking to how we can follow our Savior, and do good for others, with love and kindness, today.