prime – (adj) 1. of first importance; main Dictionary
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:� that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3
Amazon Prime Day is almost here. This annual event is bigger and longer than ever – lasting a full 48 hours. July 15-16 the retail giant will have slashed prices on electronics, kitchen gadgets, clothing and toiletries. They are broadcasting videos with shopping tips which, once watched, enter you to win giveaways. There is even a prime day concert this year. Taylor Swift’s picture is on it. I assume that means she’s singing.
I thought about doing a detailed post with pictures and links with all the crazy good deals you can find. Lots of bloggers are, but I decided against it. Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. This means that if you purchase anything from Amazon through the links I share, I receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you. I do this because running this website costs me some money, and as of now, no one is offering to pay me to write. So every little bit helps. And the link at the top of this post is my affiliate link. If you click it you will see what Amazon is planning and if you purchase through it I will benefit. But honestly, I’m not pushing you to purchase.
Why has Prime Day even become a thing? My guess is because there is a lull in all major buying holidays in July and the retail geniuses at the Zon came up with a marketing strategy we couldn’t resist. Sale prices from the comfort of our homes with free two day delivery on top.
I’ve been reading A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle. My daughter’s youth minister gave it to me and I’m getting so many great tips on how to have conversations with her about the world we have created for ourselves to live in. And we ARE having good discussions. I’m not done reading it yet, but it’s so good I might continue to reference it another 2 or 10 times. What I did not expect from it, was to feel personal conviction for some things I have been a little (or a lot) too complicit in. When I started thinking about a Prime Day post, chapter 12 on Affluence and Consumerism was all I could think about. Not deep discounts on Fire TVs and designer clothes, but the $1.2 trillion dollars Americans spend annually on “nonessential goods like jewelry, alcohol, candy, recreational vehicles, gambling, and more.”
Now, while some struggle with debt, many can easily afford these luxuries, but at what cost? Americans have “more money, disposable income material goods, technology, leisure time, vacations, square footage in our homes, quality health care, computers, cars, and conveniences than past Americans. We have more wealth and more possessions than any civilization in the history of humanity.” It sounds like we should be happier. But that’s far from the case. “Americans today report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than over the past 50 years”, and so much depression among young people that teens and pre-teens from affluent, well-educated families are the newest identified “at-risk” group!
Stonestreet and Kunkle believe that “beneath consumerism, idolatry lurks. It sells an approach to life that says, ‘I’m the center of the universe. Everything exists to meet my needs and satisfy my desires.'” But when our stuff fails to make us happier, more important or personally better; we, like Solomon, discover that it is all meaningless. Stuff may make us temporarily feel better, but the feeling never lasts, and often masks a need for true heart change. We can’t live in order to consume when we are made to contribute. I know I can do better with the resources God has so generously given me.
Now that I have been a huge internet downer, let me bring things around to say that I do believe – like the authors state – that God created us with the capacity for pleasure. He is so kind in this. And we can love the good things He gives us as long as our love for Him is not eclipsed. Let’s keep first things first. So if you have delayed gratification on that Instant Pot or want to get some discounted Christmas shopping done early, by all means thoughtfully hit up the Amazon sales. And if you do, please use my link above. I’ll be so grateful! And thanks for reading.