If you are a Christian, do your birthday cards and other greeting cards reflect that, or do they betray a worldly outlook?
I’m not talking about obviously religious cards, with Christian-themed art and Bible verses. I mean the other kind, bought off the shelf. Do they reflect a Biblical viewpoint, or are they at war with it?
The subject comes up because I’m barreling in on another of my 50-something birthdays, and I got a card in the mail which reads:
Front cover copy: Wishing You the Best / ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
Inside copy: Warm wishes that your birthday / Holds nothing but the best – / Whatever it may take to make / This day your happiest, / For anyone who knows you / Will tell you that it’s true – / Nothing but the very best / Is good enough for you!
Personal inscription: I’ll be thinking of you on [day] and hoping you will have something very special on your own very special day – [name of sender]
My reaction: Do I laugh or cry? When I first read it, I was sitting in a thrift store chair, wearing thrift store clothes, right here inside our inexpensive rental house, the van outside is on its last legs and looks like it, and I’m quite content, thank you. My husband and I have agreed that in the unlikely event we ever come into money, we will not use very much of it on stuff. Oh, we’d probably get a vehicle that is in better shape. And we’d probably paint the house, for the neighbors’ sake. (And perhaps for Christ’s sake. As a pastor friend of mine likes to contend, ‘Do everything as unto the Lord’ means we shouldn’t do shoddy work, or let our yards look terrible, etc. People notice when you care that things are done right. I’d also add that people know beauty from ugly, and beauty is more winsome.)
But past that it gets harder to imagine what in the world we ‘need,’ or even want, for that matter, past our “daily bread.” We have Christ. We have His call to help people. We don’t even understand status symbols anymore (thank goodness), nor do we really want to. How sad it is when people get caught up in the old “nothing but the very best” rat race, a race run in a direction away from God, and thus away from what makes a person truly rich.
Not that materially-rich people can’t be godly. But they need to be very careful to keep sight of what money is properly for. Well, as do we all.
For the record, the card came from a relative one generation older than myself, who has only met me at a few family reunions, and with whom I haven’t corresponded much. So he doesn’t know me.
If someone who knew me sent me this card, I’d take it as a warning shot across my bow. Watch out girl, you seem to need stuff to make you happy, and it’s got to be what others consider the best. Danger! Danger!
But here’s the clincher. The card came to me, a beginning Christian (baptized November 2007), from a retired pastor. Surely he should know better than to promote this kind of outlook on life, especially to a toddler in the faith about whom he knows next to nothing.
OK, he’s a retired UCC pastor. Nuf said.
But if you are really a follower of Christ, are you accidentally promoting the world, the flesh, or the devil in your greeting cards? It would be easy enough to do, considering what’s on offer.
How does it go? Those who are faithful in small things…