Does our spending belong to Caesar?

I have a friend who recently bought a new car.  He jests that he did it to help the economy. I suspect he is half jesting; his previous car was aging, and deteriorating.

The morning’s Waco Tribune-Herald picked up a wire story about poor holiday sales. Even the might Wal-Mart had lower-than-expected sales.

I have a confession to make: I didn’t spend as much money on Christmas this year, so I am part of the problem.  I didn’t spend less because i was worried about the economy or my future. I spent less because we are making serious strides toward de-commercializing Christmas.

We are hearing more and more about how bad the economy is, and that it’s getting worse, and that much of this is because of consumer spending.  You and I aren’t spending enough.  It’s our duty as citizens to spend, spend, spend.

This is one place that we Jesus-followers really must apply his teaching to “render to Caesar what is Caesar, but to God what is God’s.”  Continuing to spend ourselves into oblivion may be good for the economy, and thus Caesar, but it isn’t God’s ideal for us.

Spending ourselves into oblivion to “honor” Jesus – around the celebration of his birth, is certainly not rending to God what is God’s.

This past Dec. 21st, Rachel and I let a deadline pass.  Our bank had told us months before that we were  pre-qualified for up to a $50,000 car loan.  The offer was good through Dec. 21.  We have utterly no need for a car worth $50,000 (or any other new car), no matter how good it would have been for the economy.

4 thoughts on “Does our spending belong to Caesar?

  1. “Jesters do oft prove prophets” – King Lear, Shakespeare.
    Crises are created by financiers; it sound like this: you give me 50,000$ for two years with a rate of interest 8%; after one year I say: I have not so much money because you hadn’t spent enough; the rate will be only 4%. Can you do the same?…
    Dan, Romania,

  2. After seeing the “Advent Conspiracy” stuff, I preached about such things the next Sunday (i.e. alternative gifts options for xmas). I also decided to practice what I preach (for a change, perhaps): When thinking what to do for our church staff at the xmas party (sort of an extended staff, which included quite a few part-time and volunteer staff), instead of getting many cheap, cheesy gifts that say “Thank you, it’s the thought that counts!”, I decided to give monetary gifts to 3 social service agencies in their honor. It seemed to work better for my pocket, and several of the staff were indeed moved by the gesture. Twas more blessed!

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