Buyer’s remorse leaves you wondering why you liked this purchase so much in the first place or why you didn’t wait for the after Christmas sales. You’d think past experiences of buyer’s remorse would slow our spending down, but you’d be wrong. We seem to not only have buyer’s regret but buyer’s amnesia. We somehow convince ourselves that we’ll be wiser this year – that we’ll pick out better gifts, gifts that last, gifts that satisfy.
Several years ago, my father-in-law pointed out that while he’d experienced plenty of buyer’s remorse in his life, he’d never experienced giver’s remorse. That is, he’d never given a gift to a ministry or a mission or just a person in need and then later wished he had that money back. His words struck me then as truthful and have proven truthful ever since. I’m a slow learner, so I’ve continued to make purchases that I’ve later regretted. But without fail, every time I’ve stretched myself to give generously to my church, a good cause, or a neighbor in need, I’ve found joy not regret.
My guess is we’re going to continue to buy things for our own families. That’s ok. Giving my kids or my wife a gift is a form of generosity. But how might we find more joy and less regret this Christmas season? Perhaps by figuring out how to buy ourselves less and to give others more.
Here are some of my favorite places to give:
- Our church – give to the Christmas Offering. All gifts go to benefit the ministry of Water for All, a ministry of Southland Baptist Church led by Terry and Kathy Waller. With permanent ministries in Bolivia and Ethiopia, their ministry of digging water wells for the world’s poor also takes their team around the world. Your gift this Christmas will go a long way in helping place a cup of cold water in the hands of the least of these of our world. Our goal is $20,000.
- The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Store – Browse the online catalog, pick a gift, send a check. An easy way to give a gift to the least of these. If you can’t get this to work online, we have catalogs in the office.
- The World Vision Catalog - Browse the online catalog, pick a gift (they have goats, chickens, you name it), send a check or pay online. Another easy way to give a gift to the least of these.
- The Preemptive Love Coalition – Started by a friend from seminary, this ministry in Iraq funds heart surgeries for Kurdish children.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me – Matthew 25:40.