As we enter the New Year, there is a good chance you have braved and, hopefully, survived the Boxing Day shopping madness.
Boxing Day – the day we buy things we don’t need to replace stuff that still works.
We live in an upgrade infused culture where we upgrade everything. If you have a traditional tube TV, you need to upgrade to a flat screen TV and, with new technology coming out this year, you will soon feel the obsessive need to upgrade to the new thin curved TVs.
Whether one is talking about appliances, phones, computers, electronics, etc., there is no doubt that our fascination with upgrading is perpetrating a lie in our collective consciousness.
Consider how an upgrade infused culture begins to effect how we look at people and relationships. In an upgrade infused culture, we begin to believe the lie that people are disposable, consumable, and upgradable. If you don’t like the person you are married to, perhaps outgrowing them, then it is time to find someone else even better. If your friends are not serving your needs and causing you enjoyment, then it is time to get new friends.
If this sounds good and preferable, you may have been drinking the Upgrade Kool-Aid.
Consider this phenomenon from a different perspective. What if all of your friends left you because you were not meeting their needs and they outgrew you? What if your spouse, after years of life together, left you for an updated relationship? What if you were on the other side of the upgrade transaction, left alone and abandoned at the relationship recycle center.
The Bible calls us to live in relationship with others in a way that intentionally lives outside the culturally embraced upgrade mentality. We are called to commit to our marriage partner for life and to our friends when things get difficult. We are called to love others even when it is painful. We are even called to love our enemies.
In all relationships, we are called to live the Golden Rule: to love and treat others, as we would want to be loved and treated. In other words, we are called to reject the notion of relational upgrading.
This New Year, reject upgrading in relationships and see what God might teach you as you love others and stay committed to them, even when it may, in our consumerist mentality, seem easier to upgrade. What might God want to teach you about Himself, about yourself, and about the other people in your life?