Friday, February 16, 2007

Really? Is that what we are supposed to do?

Look at this article in the Washington Post entitled, "To Me, With Love
Retailers Embrace Valentine's Day as an Excuse for Singles to Celebrate Themselves."

Listen to some quotes from the article:

Stores have long encouraged couples to show their devotion on Valentine's Day by dropping bucks on chocolates, roses and a bottle of wine of impressive provenance. But now some retailers are targeting singles -- and finding that many are willing to spend just as much as twosomes in indulging themselves this holiday ... "Valentine's Day always comes with a certain amount of expectation and angst," said Jennifer Olsen, senior director of marketing for Piperlime, an online shoe store owned by Gap. "We just wanted to turn that on its head and say: 'You know what? It's Valentine's Day. Give some love to yourself.' "

It continues by reading:

For many women, that love can be expressed in the form of $350 white Mary Jane wedges by Cynthia Vincent, found under the "Be your own Valentine" category at Piperlime. The promotion began in mid-January, and the company followed up last week with an e-mail to customers with the image of a gift tag that read "To me, from me, xoxo." Sales have been strong, Olsen said ... Still, "it makes total sense," he said. "People certainly do reward themselves during the holidays."

And more...

"People have been saying: 'I love myself. I love myself as well as anybody and if not a little bit more.' " Mervis said. "Hey, go girl!"

It is amazing to me - but not really shocking - that there is actually a target market during the season of Valentine's day to those who are Single. The market attracts and appeals to them to buy gifts to themselves. Why? Because self love is good. It is necessary. It is fun. It is worth it. It is needed.

But is it really?

Listen to what Jesus said,

Mark 8:34 34 And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

This is a radical statement. In essence, Jesus is saying, you must DO NOTHING BUT DIE TO SELF - That is, self-suicide - so to speak - before you can ever follow me. If there is ever a thinking lowly of oneself, this is it. Jesus then clearly states it, "let him deny himself and take up his cross (i.e. signifying a violent, gruesome and bloody death by crucifixion). So that's what Jesus requires.

But he goes on...

Mark 8:35-37 5 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it. 36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 "For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Now we're getting back to the article. Now we are back in "shopping" language. What will a man exchange? See, our culture says, "Love yourself." In fact, the article says, "'I love myself. I love myself as well as anybody and if not a little bit more.' So if that's the case, then we ought to just love ourselves so much. This is assumed. We all do this:

Ephesians 5:28-30 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.

This is the point, everyone is in love with himself. The point: we must humble ourselves, think lowly of ourselves, consider others better and above ourselves and here in Ephesians 5, Paul exhorts husbands to love his wife just as he loves himself. It is assumed that you love yourself - that you take care of your needs, your wants, your desires, your comforts, etc - and in the same way Do it to your wives as well!

So next Valentine's Day when you may confronted face to face with some market scheme trying to get you to "love yourself more by buying a gift for yourself," just tell them that the way to glory is humility. On the other hand, the way to ultimate destruction, is to glorify oneself now.

Chew on that.
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