On the radio this morning Brant Hansen was talking about some national parents' group that is trying to organize a protest against toy companies to get them to stop advertising until after the holidays. The parents are saying that all the commercials are making their kids want stuff they can't afford, and the parents don't want to have to explain to their kids that they don't have the money.
Brant's response, and I think it was a good one, was basically that "It's a good thing to explain to your kids that you can't afford everything."
He was kind of exasperated that parents would resort to protesting businesses advertising simply because they're too ________ (lazy? scared? weak? embarrassed?) to tell their kids money doesn't grow on trees. "Are you trying to get elected?" he said.
I know it's never fun to tell your kids they can't have something they want. Because we love our kids and want them to be happy. But because we love our kids and want them to be happy we should explain to them where money comes from, that it is finite, and that, above all, getting everything you want isn't the source of happiness anyway. Having this conversation these parents want to avoid is a prime catalyst for training our kids to think more selflessly and less consumeristically and to exercise moderation and self-control.
I ain't praying for no depression or nothin' (;-), but I do think hard(er) economic times can be fertile ground for cultivating less consumerism in the church.