A couple of years back, looking to buy a replacement for a piece of broken kit, I went into a shop to make my purchase only to be advised by the sales assistant to leave it a week if I could as the price would be drastically (around 20%) less thanks to 'Black Friday'; so I went home and waited for a week and saved almost £200!
When I was a child, one of the New Year rituals in my family was the annual trip to Knightsbridge for the sales. My Mum would have a list of things we needed and we'd head for the stores to buy new bed linen and other stuff we needed at much reduced prices. We didn't have much money and the buying of things in this way made the most of what we did have and although not a Christian home I have to say that this was good stewardship indeed!
Today we have two 'Black' and one 'Good' Friday on the calendar - today's 'Black Friday' is a day (now stretched to five by some companies) where spending on stuff, to excess, is billed as the thing to do - the other 'Black Friday' is the Friday before Christmas when people tend to eat and drink to excess and this too is billed by our society as something that 'has' to be done too!
The other Friday on my calendar - the 'Good' one - is about getting too, but with this one it's not about cheap - it's about free! But there's no such thing as 'free' - someone, somewhere always foots the bill - and with this one, the person paying is Jesus!
Today I'm being encouraged to 'have it all today' and pay for it with a card. Who cares if you can't afford it, you can put off paying for another day. How odd then that so many live their lives as the choose, never looking to the day of reckoning of a different kind!
So here are some thoughts as Black Friday gets going:
Do you really need to buy what others are encouraging you to get today?
Will having something really make you happier, better of more successful?
Why have Christian companies and charities jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon - aren't we supposed to encourage good stewardship in others and work hard to stop our weaker brothers and sisters from stumbling?
Aren't we supposed to be living in a counter-cultural way? So why are we buying in to the 'have this and look cool' mentality - shouldn't we have an image of Jesus and His teachings and look like that?
Me? There's nothing I need today and so will not be spending anything except time on my knees thanking Him who gave me everything.
Look at the image above - that's people fighting in a British store a few years back, fighting for flat screen TVs.
A friend of mine who works in refugee camps asked me this:
"If they fight like that for TVs, what will they be like when they have to fight for food from the back of a lorry to feed their kids like those in the camps around the world?"