As I was doing some last minute reading over my sermon this morning, I took a short break to read a few articles at RELEVANT Magazine. Their headline article hit me hard: “11 Stats That Will Change the Way You Think About Consumerism.” As I was preaching a sermon on being thankful I found the article very appropriate for the topic.

Have you noticed how Thanksgiving has turned from a holiday spent with family and reminiscing on the things we are grateful for to a holiday all about stuff? You may think, “Come on Nick, getting presents for Christmas for people during a sale is good budgeting.” That may be true, but the question that I bring up is whether or not it’s a good idea to allow consumerism to sneak into a time which in the past has been dedicated to family and friends.

If you don’t have a problem with consumerism (which can be defined as ‘the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods’) then maybe some of these statistics from the article might change your mind (link to the original article):

The amount Americans spend in a single weekend is more than half of the total they give to churches in an entire year.

Last year, Americans spent $57.4 billon on Black Friday Weekend alone. They gave $103 billion to churches over the course of the whole year.

Enough K-Cups were thrown out in 2014 to encircle the earth 12 times.

According to their creator, K-Cups are almost impossible to recycle.

Nearly 40% of Food in America goes to waste.

Americans allow $165 billion of food to be wasted every year. Globally, stunting due to malnutrition and lack of food affects 161 million children around the world every year.

In America, more money is spent on fashion accessories than college tuition.

The amount spent on shoes, watches and jewelry alone totals $100 billion

Wealthy nations waste almost as much food is produced in all of sub-Saharan Africa.

Food wasted in developed countries every year: 222 million tons; Annual net food production in sub-Saharan Africa: 230 million tons.

Nearly half the world’s toys are in America.

Despite making up just over 3 percent of the global population of children, American kids consume 40 percent of the world’s toys.

The average American household has more than $7,500 in consumer debt.

The medium annual household income for the global population is just of $9,700.

America creates more electronic waste than any other nation on earth.

Despite being less than a quarter the size of China, Americans throughout more than 1 million tons more electronic devices than the country. Relatively little of it is recycled.

Homes in the U.S. contain more TVs than they do people.

On average, houses in the U.S. have three working television sets.

12% of the population does more than half of the spending.

Despite being just 12 percent of the global population, the U.S. and Western Europe account for 60 percent of private consumption spending.

Plastic kills 1 million seabirds every single year.

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags annually.

When I read that this morning I realized that I live in amazing luxury. I have more than most of the world. I have a lot to be thankful for. I don’t need the latest and greatest. I have enough.

So, how do you feel after reading that? Let’s dialogue. Go ahead and leave a comment.