The day after Thanksgiving. The highpoint each year for avarice and materialism, creeps into hearts unaware, darkening minds, injecting the poison of covetous desires. Seeking fulfillment, millions flock to the stores under the banner of showing love to loved ones by purchasing gifts for them, and the false lure of saving money on things not needed from the start.
Certainly there’s nothing wrong with wisely taking advantage of savings, or with the giving of gifts. Gifts can serve as icing on the cake, a final proof of love. In expressing His love, God gave us the ultimate gift of His Son’s life. The gift of salvation.
However, there are red flags of warning unfurled, when as Christians, we charge forth to participate in something, whatever it may be, along with the masses of the world. We are supposed to be on the narrow path and not the broad and most populated way.
Yet we can participate if we do it correctly, with the right heart-set.
One year, on Black Friday, I had to run to the store to procure a forgotten item for dinner that night. It was one of those new-fangled super-stores. One stop shopping. I was appalled at the pushing and shoving, and the widespread selfishness. Almost everyone wanted to get to those most cherished items first. Some would gloat and crow when finally, they victoriously made the purchases they’d come for. Others who were too late for the new X-box or whatever it may have been, threw terrible tantrums, cursing and glaring darts of hatred.
As I exited the store with the final ingredients for a family dinner, I watched as one gloater packed up their new treasure into the trunk of their car. On the bumper was a sticker, proclaiming Christ as King. Another patron, who'd been glaring and cussing also packed his car with the purchases he’d made. He too had a sticker on the back, which said, follow me to: and emblazoned there was the name of a certain Christian church.
Surely these two must have soon realized how their actions and demeanor appeared to others. Perhaps it was while in prayer the following morning that the Holy Spirit convicted them, at which time they would repent and be forgiven. But what about the damage that was done—the dishonor to the name and cause of Jesus Christ?
Christians must be diligent to protect their witness to the world. We do not want to shame the Lord or bring dishonor to God. Or grieve the Holy Spirit. We are His children and members of His family.
On Black Friday, we can set out to shine forth with the light of the gospel and the love of the Lord, brightly contrasted against the chaos of greed and rudeness. We can exude our contentment with what God is willing to bless us with. We are willing to submit as a person behind us forcefully grabs at the last available sale item from underneath us. We can avail ourselves to transform the situation into glory for God by responding in grace.
Are we trusting God to provide? Or do we doubt that the manna from heaven will be there tomorrow as well as today?