A bit later than usual, but her goes...….
My car insurance is up for renewal, and the letter from my present insurer informs me that I 'may get the insurance ( I ) want at a better price if you shop around.' So much for loyalty, and any rewards that might accrue for displaying that virtue, by re-insuring with the sender of the letter.
The websites who advise on family finances and on saving money all tell us to switch providers, to abandon loyalty (although for some it's just inertia, not loyalty) and to practice that supreme virtue of the consumerist society and shop around.
But where should it end? Do we restrict it to money stuff, or has this consumerist 'ethic' (I hesitate to use the word) already infected our personal relationships, the way we treat work, leisure, and a whole host of the networks which make us who we are?
I am reminded again in church this morning that I am to 'love the Lord your God with all your passion, prayer, muscle and intelligence' as a modern translation has it. No wriggle room, no shopping around there! Instead of consumerist, I am consumed by God. But, ironically, paradoxically, free at the same time; consumed by the God who will be loyal to me, and will impart all sorts of virtues over time in this wayward disciple.