Go Back to Newsletter

"Black Friday"

Ah yes, it’s that time of year when we gather with family, eat until we can cram no more into our guts and, most importantly… What did you say? Give thanks? Yeah right! But I’m talking about another tradition. Instead of going to sleep on Thanksgiving night, you haul your self and a lawn chair to what has become one of the most bizarre rituals known to the history of mankind, the “Black Friday” sale. I myself have been guilty of participating in this strange ritual. Yes, I left the comfort of my nice warm bed without properly caffeinating my body, which left my motor skills in a state equivalent to a zombie, and dragged myself to the local electronics store for the deal of the year. I thought I had the jump on everyone because I arrived an hour early. To my horror, I found out that people were already lined up for what seemed to be miles from the front door. I think some of them might have still been in line from the year before.

At any rate when the time came for the store to open I noticed something strange. The neat, orderly line that had formed outside the store suddenly dissolved into a big pile of humanity. I found myself absorbed into that mess. And I assure you, it was not pleasant to have my head stuck underneath the armpit of a very large, tattooed man. Then, without notice, like a crazed wildebeest stampede, the crowed started to run in every direction. Of course my caffeine deprived zombie-like body did its best to make its way to the TV section. “Ugh… TV’s...” I cried as I desperately tried to snag up my prize. But alas, my slow zombie-like body was too late; all of the TV’s were gone. It was all for naught. No TV, no sleep, and no coffee! I left the store despondently and vowed to never do that again! Well, at least until the next year.

All of the latest goods and gadgets that tickle our fancy only bring out the animal instinct in us. Whether we covet an iPhone, iPad, pet rock, or Polly the Insulting Electronic Parrot (that is a real product by the way), we will stop at nothing to get it at the best possible price and before anyone else. God forbid that we have to wait until the day after the release of the new iPhone before amusing ourselves by asking Siri how many squares are on a roll of toilet paper (in case you’re wondering, it averages around 333).

However, when it comes to things of Lord, we don’t seem to mind putting them off. I can’t imagine people waiting in line to serve brother John who’s car has broken down or a crowd of people pushing one another over to be the first inside the Church so they can worship God (not saying I would condone such behavior).

I think we should take a hard look at what we value and ask ourselves what deem as important. Jesus warned about placing your trust in temporal things. Notice Christ’s words in Matthew 6, beginning with verse 19:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Don’t you think our time would be better spent pursuing things that would edify the body of Christ and bring honor to our Lord? The Apostle Paul admonished the Philippian Church about where to focus their attention. Look at his words in Philippians 4:8-9:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Now, this is not to say that we can’t enjoy an iPad, a TV, or Billy the Big Mouthed Singing Bass (always a hit at parties!). God has given us all things to enjoy. However, when our main focus is on obtaining such things we’re diverted from pursuing the eternal. At that point such things become idols! We must remember that what we’re doing now will be accounted for in eternity. As the renowned Dr. R.C. Sproul says, “Right now counts forever.” When we stand before God to give an account of our lives do you think we will boast about waiting for 3 days in line to save 30% on the “giganto” 100 inch LED TV? Or do you think we’d much rather account for a life where we served our families, ministered to the body of Christ and did good to all men? I’m pretty sure God won’t be impressed with the “giganto” TV. Wait! You say it’s 3D? Nah, still not impressed!

- Jordan McGehee