The Seduction of Groupon

Groupon. It may be the fastest growing company that you have never heard of. With 83 million subscribers in 43 countries around the world it is said to be one of the fastest growing companies in history. It offers good products at attractive prices. It’s addictive – and it’s fun! That’s the upside. The downside is that people, even people who should know better, are spending far more than they should in an attempt to get a deal and often end up not getting anything for their money. The company is Groupon (website www.groupon.com) , a company that promotes itself as offering a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 500 markets and 44 countries around the world. Groupon works by offering discount vouchers for sale on various products and services provided enough people sign up to purchase an item. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, we get discounts you won’t find anywhere else. We call it “collective buying power!” It’s an ingenious twist on an old idea.

If you are not familiar with Groupon, watch out! It is seductive and addictive. Business analysts estimate that as high as 20% of the vouchers they sell are never redeemed. That means that people are shelling out money for things that they never actually get or use. They lose money, Groupon (and the businesses they represent) make money. As one “helpless” victim said, I regretfully admit to totally blowing money on Groupons I never used . . .  a dinner cruise for six people, a paintballing weekend, yoga classes. I swore it off for a while, until something else popped up that I couldn’t resist.

Therein lies the core issue – there are things in life that we have decided are just too powerful to resist. And when we fail to resist them we pay the price. Failure to resist a Groupon deal will cost you a few dollars – not a great price to pay. But there are temptations that are far more seductive, far more important and far more damaging to our lives; such as the failure to resist the temptations of sin.

The Bible urges Believers to resist temptation because God knows how seductive sin can be – and how weak we are (Psalm 103:13). Christ taught His followers to pray lead us not into temptation (Matthew 6:30). On the night of His arrest He urged His disciples to, Watch and pray, let you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38). It is a constant battle. But it’s a battle that you don’t have to lose (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

You will face the seduction of sin; you will be tempted. The question is, will you give in or will you resist? Will you gratify the flesh or will you fortify the spirit? It is possible to resist the temptation to spend more money on Groupons that you will never use and it is possible to resist the temptation of sin that seeks to destroy your spiritual life.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

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