Anne Bradley has a great post on this at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. Here are three very helpful points she makes (note especially the first one — it’s why I don’t think giving gifts at Christmas necessarily equals consumerism):
What are some ways we can worship God with our whole being and possessions in this Christmas season?
- Remember that redemption is not just spiritual. Christ experienced the physical nature of our world in a similar way to us, and he called it good. We will eventually be given new bodies, but God will use our current ones for his glory and our good, even during this life.
- Practice gratitude. We’ve been blessed with amazing prosperity, much of which has been generated through entrepreneurship made possible by free markets and favorable institutions.
- Give generously and resourcefully. As in everything, let us give with a heart attuned to God’s will for the needs around us. If we have been given much, let us give much. But, as we reach out to others, let us be careful to enable others to arrive at a place of greater prosperity because of broadened skills and resources.
Also make sure to check out Andrew Spencer’s excellent post on whether capitalism necessarily leads to and is based on consumerism. It is very enlightening and ought to be shared far and wide.