The day after Thanksgiving is known in the shopping world as “Black Friday” where businesses and marketers bring out all the big guns hoping to lure customers to spend and buy their way to happiness.
From “early bird” deals to bottom-barrel prizes – Americans around the country often grovel and fight each other trying to score this year’s most coveted item – before it sells out.
But is a holiday built on pure consumerism something Christians should embrace or partake in?
If the goal is to simply get more or fill one’s suburban home with even more stuff – the answer is no.
God is the source of true joy, but in this fallen world, we mistakenly believe we can spend ourselves into “happiness.”
But by “keeping up with the Joneses” – we often forsake our first love.
God’s Word warns us – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Many people fall into the trap of consumerism – assuming if they just had the “perfect” pair of shoes or the “right” kitchen gadget, their life would be complete.
Sadly, it’s usually those without good financial skills that put thousands of dollars of items they can’t afford onto credit cards… further going into debt.
And for what purpose?
A temporary high?
With that said, it is prudent to be wise with God’s money, and seek to get the best value of a quality item.
If your child needs boots, and you know a store is having a sale on Black Friday, there’s nothing wrong with waking up early to get a doorbuster deal.
Likewise, if you’ve done your budgeting for Christmas gifts and hope to save a few extra dollars by hitting a good sale – it’s not wrong to shop on Black Friday.
Shopping in itself is not wrong. Spending is not wrong.
It all boils down to the motive of the heart.
A Christian shouldn’t just spend as the world does… not paying attention to the needs of others and simply trying to “treat oneself.”
Perfectly content people can suddenly feel like they are missing out when they see sales ads of all the things they don’t have.
Black Friday can truly bring out the worst in people.
Most of us have seen typically calm people go into a frantic frenzy determined to get the “best deal” and willing to take down (literally) anyone who gets in their way.
In fact, just a few years back a Walmart employee was even trampled to death by more than 2,000 eager shoppers stampeding through the door just to score a “good deal.”
This “good deal” turned deadly, and actually killed a person!
And it’s not the first time a person has lost their life on Black Friday.
It boils down to this – if you want to avoid the trap of falling prey to obsessing over Black Friday – keep your focus on eternity.
Remember, you can’t take any possessions with you when you die.
People are more important than “stuff.”
Perhaps this Black Friday you can score a few winter coats on sale – and donate them to a family or child in need.
Regardless of whether you choose to participate in Black Friday or not, remember – everything we do should be for the glory of God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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