How many of you received or gave out gift cards last Christmas? They can be a great way to somewhat personalize a gift. They also give the receiver freedom to purchase something that they really want or need. But did you know that approximately 1 billion dollars a year goes unspent on gift cards. Few people waste their coffee gift cards? But when you have 3.99 left on a gift card to a department store, many don’t use it. It’s estimated that since they started in 2005, 41 billion dollars of gift card balances remain unspent. That’s a waste.
But consider the waste a rich son experienced while trying to show love to his mother. He was determined to give her a birthday present that would outshine all others. He read of a bird that had a vocabulary of 4000 words, could speak in numerous languages and sing 3 operatic arias. He immediately bought the bird for $50,000 and had it delivered to his mother. The next day he phoned to see if she had received the bird. "What did you think of the bird?" he asked. She replied, "It was delicious."
Now it’s one thing to waste a few unspent dollars on a gift card or to waste $50,000 on a gift that you thought would last a long time for your mother. But it’s another to waste infinitely expensive gifts from God. Yet people do it all the time. It can happen to us. One way this happens is through something that has gained great prominence in our culture over the last say 20 years.
This something is called “Individualism.” Individualism focuses on the individual. It can be a stance, philosophy or outlook that emphasizes the worth of the individual. Individualists argue that the interests of the individual should take priority over the state or social group. Individualism starts with the idea that the human individual is of primary importance.
There is a good side to individualism.