Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. These are all Western creations (I think) that encourage us to get started on our Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving, except Tuesday when we’re encouraged to “take a break from spending” (said the radio ad) and give to a charity of our choice.
What’s the purpose of Wednesday? No one has successfully claimed that yet, so I’d like to offer a suggestion: Wednesday Review. Why did you just spend all that money? What were the deeper motivations?
Yes, there were good deals. Yes, many people donated to a charity. But now that it’s Wednesday, how will you decide where to spend money today? Beyond the bills, and after debt responsibilities are addressed, what do you do with the rest? It’s time for Wednesday Review.
First off, don’t take on new debt in December that you can’t fully pay off in January. Start your Wednesday Review there. Be very smart about how much you spend, wise about spending it. That’s the surface review.
Next, is all you’ve bought since Thanksgiving, or gave to on Giving Tuesday, purposeful? That’s a deeper kind of review. For example, did the spending strengthen a current relationship or will it contribute positively to a new relationship? Did it further a cause you believe in? Learn your lessons about your own spending on Wednesday Review. That will help you be smart in using your money between now and Christmas on relationships and causes that matter to you.
Finally, look at the deep motivations for where you will spend your money, even after the first of the year. Is it all centered on you, or can you spend unselfishly (and still responsibly)? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What percentage do I spend on myself versus others?
- Do I give sacrificially or out of my surplus?
- Does my spending and giving also have to benefit me, or can it simply be to bless others?
Many of us have been in other parts of the world where the purposes of spending and giving are largely about survival and hospitality. Basic needs are met, then relationships flourish over sharing of food and life together. It’s about the relationship, which not-so-ironically helps meet basic needs. Spending and giving are all purposeful, meaningful, relational.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Cor 9:7-8
It’s Wednesday. Time to Review. How have you spent your money since Thanksgiving? How will you spend until Christmas? What changes do you need to make in motivation and behavior for spending and giving in the new year?
Til next week,
With our family for thanksgiving…
The gift of bringing friends to visit…
The gift of friendship and sharing with others…