Yesterday was Thanksgiving… today is Black Friday. The difference is pretty obvious. For the Christian, it’s helpful to remember that we are called to live with an attitude of thankfulness everyday.
So what are you focused on today? Here are a few questions to consider today:
- Are you focused on how you’ve been blessed; or are you focused on what you don’t have?
- Are you shopping in order to joyfully give to others; or in order to simply to buy obligatory gifts for people at the lowest possible price?
- Are you treating other shoppers in a way that reflects a thankful, joyful heart; or do you see them as competitors who are trying to take your stuff?
Shopping on Black Friday doesn’t make you unthankful. But why you shop and how you shop matters. Be a thankful shopper today.
How many people will be spending their Thanksgiving day writing up a list of things to buy on Black Friday? How many people will be spending their Thanksgiving day writing up their own Christmas list, carefully mulling over everything they want to get and then ranking them in order by what they want the most? Honestly, probably not too many are literally doing those things… but as Christmas approaches, we increasingly turn our minds into a running catalogue of things to buy for ourselves and for others.
Is the irony of Black Friday falling the day after Thanksgiving lost on you?
I know a lot of stores are advertising that their Black Friday sales are starting on Thursday night this year. Please, I beg of you, don’t let Thanksgiving become another shopping day. What’s it saying about us that even Thanksgiving is turning into a day to buy buy buy.
I understand that for many people, Black Friday is about buying for other people (not about getting) and getting a good deal (hey, I’m all for saving a few bucks), but I’m concerned that it’s doing something much more costly to us. I’m concerned that we are so driven by the stuff, that even the givers among us are becoming more materialistic – just in a counter-intuitive way. Instead of focusing on what they’re getting, they’re so focused on what they’re giving that it overshadows being thankful and it overshadows the generosity of God, who gave us the very first and best Christmas present of all.
In case you need a reminder, here’s a short excerpt from a post I wrote a few years ago entitled “Why We Give Gifts at Christmas“:
As we reflect on the sacrifice that God the Son made in being born as a baby boy, remember that the sacrifice was made out of love. God doesn’t want anyone to remain in their sins, that’s why Jesus was born to die on the cross so that we could be forgiven by repentance and faith in Christ. The verse above (1 John 4:9-11) also gives us a hint as to what the life of repentance and faith should look like: “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
We give gifts on Christmas as a reminder of the gift that God gave us through Jesus Christ. Don’t give gifts this year simply out of social obligation… give them out of joy and thankfulness for what you have received from God.