It’s Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving when many of us feasted on way too much food. We lounged (unless you are one of the unfortunate who must work on Thanksgiving) around the house with our family and friends watching football or Hallmark Christmas movies and rubbing our overly full, distended stomachs. We were warm and cozy in our homes with plenty of heat, electricity, and running water.
We Americans have so much and hopefully we took time yesterday to give thanks for our abundant blessings. But today is another day. Today we go back to life as usual. Or do we?
Millions of us will spend this day chasing down bargains – getting up at the crack of dawn to go Black Friday shopping. I’m going to be up front right now and share that I don’t do Black Friday. Actually, this day when there is a frenzy to be the ultimate consumer and spend, spend, spend on supposed money saving deals bothers the heck out of me.
I do not shop on this day — I stay as far away as I can from the maddening crowd. I think it brings out the worst in us humans – greed, rudeness, gluttony, overindulgence, call it what you will.
And the fact that stores opened on Thanksgiving to accommodate this craziness and fill their coffers with more money instead of respecting the holiday and giving their employees the day off makes it even more offensive to me.
So, I am being completely honest by admitting I am not thankful for the shopping mania of Black Friday itself here in my 30 Days of Thanks Giving. But that Bible verse that fuels my life, that one that says be thankful in all circumstances, prompts me to express gratitude on this day.
Yes today, Black Friday, a day that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Because the consumerism of Black Friday reminds me that I already have what I need in this life and so do the ones I might Christmas shop for. It’s called abundance. And we here in America have been blessed beyond measure with it.
“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
No matter how difficult our circumstances may be, there are countless fellow human beings out there in our world who have even more hardships, many right here in our own country. Many are our brothers and sisters across the globe who live under persecution.
Some live in war-torn areas of the world. They face being killed for their faith. They may be captured, tortured, and imprisoned because of it. So many of our fellow humans here and abroad don’t have shelter or enough food or clothing or even clean water to drink.
And as the Christmas season approaches, I’d rather spend my time on something more meaningful than shopping on Black Friday, filling my shopping cart with consumer goods for my own family and friends.
I am thankful that research is available at the tip of my fingers via my computer keyboard to show me where I can help the most. I’m thankful there are legitimate organizations that exist where I can share my blessings with others who need so much. I thank God that I can impact another person’s life in a positive way to provide a bit of comfort or satisfy a need.
In my guidebook for life, the Bible, Jesus tells me this: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” ~ Luke 12:48
That verse tells me that I am held responsible for what I have, for all I have been given. If I am blessed with a certain talent, I’m expected to use it. If I’m blessed with time to serve God and others, I need to do so. If I’ve been blessed with monetary goods, I should share those to glorify God and also to benefit those less fortunate.
I am thankful that because I have been given much, I have much to share.
So on this day after Thanksgiving I have to ask myself, “Am I truly thankful for what I have been given?” And when I realize the answer is affirmative, then it’s time for action.
“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” ~ W. Clement Stone