If you type “Black Friday stories” into Google, you will find some of the funniest, and sometimes some of the most tragic stories.
One retail employee on Reddit told the story of two sweet older ladies who walked into a Radio Shack on Black Friday. They both wanted to purchase a $10 calculator that was on sale for $5. When they were told that the display model was the last one in stock, these two sweet ladies turned on each other. The story ends with these two women cursing at each other as one walks out with a calculator and the other walks out empty-handed.
The real irony of Black Friday is where it is on the calendar. It comes immediately after the day when we are supposed to remember how blessed we are.
Few things are as enjoyable to me as sitting around a table with friends, laughing, feasting and taking turns sharing one thing we are thankful for this year. Some years have been filled with blessing after blessing, and other years have been really hard. But there is always something we can remember that God has done in our lives.
The danger of materialism is that you become willing to trade your character for stuff.
Unfortunately, that warm feeling of thankfulness is all too easily eaten away by the craving for a good deal.
Events like Black Friday often bring out the worst in us. It taunts us and tempts us with materialism. And the danger of materialism is that you become willing to trade your character for stuff.
I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t participate in Black Friday. That’s a question you have to answer for yourself.
But here are four things you shouldn’t let Black Friday steal from you.
I don’t know about you, but taking time to slow down and just be with good friends and family isn’t something I get to do every day. And I don’t want to cut it short. I want to soak up every minute I can get.
If getting a good deal on a gaming system that will be obsolete by this time next year requires you to cut Thanksgiving short, you may need to ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
A good rule of thumb to consider is “keep Black Friday on Friday.”
I mentioned a minute ago that materialism is being willing to trade your character for stuff. But how do you know if you’re doing that? By not being kind. Unkindness fueled by a sense of entitlement is one of the biggest indicators of materialism.
When we are rude or impatient with others, it’s because we believe we deserve something. And that’s the opposite of thankfulness.
What if on Black Friday, we managed to be kind all day? I’m talking about in traffic, in the long lines and throughout all the rest of the day.
Jesus made Christianity incredibly simple when he summed up all the rules and commandments into one: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Loving your neighbor as yourself means putting yourself in their shoes, and doing for them what you would want someone to do for you.
Unkindness fueled by a sense of entitlement is one of the biggest indicators of materialism.
So what if radical generosity was our attitude on Black Friday? I’m not just talking about being generous with the presents you buy for your family. I’m talking about being generous by letting someone else take the last item in stock.
Can you even imagine if people acted that way on Black Friday?
Finally, don’t let anything steal your joy. Not even happiness.
You see, happiness is circumstantial. When things are going your way you are happy. When they’re not, you’re not happy. But joy isn’t based on circumstances. Joy is a choice.
So choose joy at all costs.
Both happiness and joy have a price. You can sacrifice your character by being rude to get what you want, and that may lead to temporary happiness. Or you can sacrifice a good deal for your character, and that will lead to joy, even if it doesn’t lead to immediate happiness.
Temporary happiness may come with cutting someone off, but lasting joy will come with being patient and kind.