Operation Christmas Child: Materialism or Consecrated Shopping?

 Operation Christmas Child: Materialism or Consecrated Shopping?

Have you had a chance to ponder the Operation Christmas Child Frequently Argued QuestionWhat about materialism?  And the real question at heart:  What is the purpose of material goods?

Have you come to any conclusions?

Protecting the Innocent

Here’s mine, in a nutshell:

We ask the question, “What about materialism?”

because we don’t have anything left to give

– we’ve spent it all –

so we claim the higher cause:

We are merely protecting the innocent from our own wicked ways.

But, What if Shopping Wasn’t Wicked?

What if our shopping were consecrated, presented to God for His use?

What if we used our love of shopping to promote Christ’s message of mercy at the cross?

What if we saw gifts in a simple shoebox, not as a symbol of corruption waiting to pounce on unsuspecting hearts, but as an avenue of tangible love?


Realities of Tangible Love

We can tell others about His gift when we give our gift as a sample, an example of what a gift is.

With our gifts, we can say:

  • We love you because God loves you.
  • We value you because God values you.
  • God cares about learning, about teeth, about smiles, and about our eternal souls.  Beginning right now.
  • We give a pencil case because we can’t actually give you the gift God offers: eternal life with Him, beginning today, right now.
  • We can tell you about His gift, but eternal life, payment for sin, is His gift to give.
  • And He does.  To all of us, if we’ll receive it.  Will you?

Giving a child something tangible to touch, expressing the love of God in Christ, is worth facing our fears of materialism.


Practicalities of Tangible Love


Our gifts talk, too:

Keep Learning!


  • This little pencil case is a simple way to say: I care about your education.  Keep learning.
  • The little tube of toothpaste says, “Your health is important.”
  • The colorful ball says, “Have fun!  God loves to see you smile!”

Worried about the Message of Jesus?

With our worries about the message of materialism out of the way, do we turn our worries to the message of Jesus?

To My Temptation to The Worries, I say:

If we don’t include the message of Christ with our shoebox gifts, we might as well just go shopping.

For ourselves.  Doesn’t matter who has the stuff.  It’s just stuff.

And our fears of materialism will materialize.  

And none of us want that.


For those who have faced fears, who have given to Operation Christmas Child – or to any of the many projects of Samaritan’s Purse:



Thank you …

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REALITY CHECK:  I’ve not felt as well as I would have liked this week of writing.  It’s been off and on, on and off, but I can still write, and crochet, and share Christ.  And for me?  That’s living the good life!


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