by Brad Bell
Black Friday. An illustrious American “holiday” of sorts. It is a sad irony that the day after Thanksgiving, America turns its focus to the relentless acquisition of stuff. People line up and wait for hours, push their way through crowded stores, and increase their debt in the pursuit of satisfaction via stuff.
The fleeting promise of “good” deals; bigger screens; faster cars, toys, and computers, more megapixels, better style, and an “easier” way to perform almost any household task abound.
Marketers compete for your money by offering promises that their stuff will make your life better.
At least for a season. For a time that new couch may be plush. For a month or two that new phone may be top of the line. For a time that new outfit may be in style. But, the treasures of this world will not last. The items bought on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales will eventually pass away.
When we look to things that pass away for ultimate satisfaction we will never be ultimately satisfied. When we look to the Giver of every good and perfect gift with gratitude we can be ultimately satisfied in Him.
In stark contrast to the cry of marketers for our money, Jesus gave a loving command and invitation about how to use our treasure, and thus shape our hearts.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Matt 6:19-25 NKJ)
What we do on Black Friday matters. If we choose to store up treasure on earth, our hearts will be even more set on the things of this earth and our love for God will grow dim. If we choose to store up treasure in heaven our hearts will be set on the realities of heaven. When we look to God for satisfaction rather than to stuff, we find that many of the “needs” we thought we had vanish.
May our thanksgiving continue year round, guarding our hearts from the love of the world and freeing us to use what we have to store up treasure in heaven.
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