Reading 

Romans 12:1-2 I summon you therefore, family, based on the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, which is holy and acceptable to God – which is your logical act of worship. Also, do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of the mind, so that you may discern what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is.

Reflection 

“Consumption” or the more negative, “Consumerism,” is a dreaded conception. Just the mention of it is enough to evoke a whole array of emotions, reactions, thoughts and responses. So why attempt to deal with a topic this massive and this significant in a short devotional reflection? The reason is that our commitment to Jesus should shape every aspect of our lives. Scripture encourages us to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices” which are “holy and acceptable” to God. This is our “logical act of worship” in light of the “mercies of God”. 

That means everything we do with and through our bodies is directed ultimately towards the praise of God and the practice of holiness. If our devotion to God is meant to cover every aspect of our lives, everything we do in and through our bodies, then we need to address the topic of consumerism. Some may be tempted to think of consumption in terms of sinning and not sinning. However, that is far too narrow. Our whole lives are to be offered in worship to God. I want to encourage us to think more carefully in terms of what aids our worship of God, and not just, what is sinful. How can what we purchase help our relationship with God?  


Watch as Annie and Sean from Tearfund talk about consumption and consumerism and how they relate to following Jesus.

We know we cannot survive without consuming and so we need not automatically feel guilty about consuming. Too often, these discussions end up inciting guilt, which leads to an apathetic response that is not beneficial. We know that there are problems and issues surrounding types of consumption. I want to encourage Christians to reflect on their consumption, rather than just following the various trends and ways of society. Christians ought to think about what they do and why they do it. Paul speaks about Christians being transformed by the renewing of our minds. A renewed mind is able to discern the will of God. A renewed mind understands that God has been merciful and gracious, kind and good to us, and our lives should express our gratitude to God. That gratitude is expressed in carefully reflecting on the way we live, which includes our consumption.

How does your consumption affect your commitment to God? Does it aid or hinder? This Advent, why not spend some time thinking about what consumption habits help or hinder your relationship with God.  

Prayer 

Gracious God you are the giver all good gifts. We thank you that we are able to take time to reflect on our purchasing habits. We thank you for the privileges that we have, and for the ability to have time and space to reflect on these important issues. May your Spirit give us discernment, and may we continue to renew our minds as an act of worship to you. Give us wisdom that we may reflect carefully on our consumption habits and how our commitment to you is affected and shaped by our consumption. 

Questions 

As we approach Christmas, how will our consumption shape us as followers of Jesus?  

Are our purchases in line with our Christian values and convictions? 


Recent posts

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Friday, 22 January 2021 — Keith Ramsay

Often victims of human trafficking go unnoticed, and even the things we buy have a story of human misery behind them. During Human Trafficking awareness month (January), we wanted to alert you to how you can make a difference in New Zealand for modern slaves overseas, and how to identify those being exploited here in New Zealand.

 

Read more

How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

Monday, 18 January 2021 — Compassion International

Whether you pray on your own or with a group, the prayers of God’s people are powerful! But sometimes, what we’re praying for seems so out of reach, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here are 10 prayer points to get you started.

 

Read more

Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 — Compassion International

2020 will be remembered as the year the world stood still. With pandemic lockdowns, quarantines and facemasks—Covid-19 was on everyone’s lips. It was a year of heartache, pain, frustration and anxiety. But to start 2021, we want to share with you 10 sweet, funny and beautiful moments featuring sponsored children from around the world.

 

Read more

What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 — Kevin Riddell

Although I was born and bred in New Zealand, for nearly all of my adult life I have lived and worked in conflict or disaster zones, around the globe. Most people living in the world today have little control of their future. I think this is both unfair and an injustice. I believe I have a responsibility to offer a hand of support to those in need. But not to just feed them for a day, but to offer long-term support.


 

Read more

Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Tuesday, 15 December 2020 — Kate Kardol

Tearfund's annual feel-good gift guide—Gift for Life—is chock-full of impactful gift ideas, sure to touch every heart this Christmas. Here's our five most popular gifts!


 

Read more

Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Friday, 11 December 2020 — Sean du Toit

The world seems different. The world is different. Various, organisations and communities have had to quickly adapt to various situations changing so fast our plans seem to be in constant flux. And yet, amidst all the uncertainty and chaos, these three remain: faith, love and hope.  

 

Read more

From gang leader to teen preacher

From gang leader to teen preacher

Friday, 04 December 2020 — Compassion International

Oscar’s life had a rough start. He was abandoned by his parents at a young age and was left alone most days with his uncles, who didn’t feed him. He started to get angry and aggressive and when he grew older, he formed a gang with his friends and began stealing. But something happened that turned his life on its head. 


 

Read more

Show more