Who here is a Black Friday shopper? I (Sara) remember fond memories with my mother that involved us arriving at a Starbucks at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning to get our first seasonal Starbucks coffee (helloooo peppermint mocha!). We’d then make our way over to the local mall and begin our shopping extravaganza. We weren’t diehard shoppers like some, but we enjoyed the excitement that came with getting up early and taking advantage of some pretty good deals. Most importantly though, it was a fun day that I got to spend with my Mom and a chance for us to make some memories together.
Fast forward to today: you could probably pay me and I still would not go out on Black Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for getting a great deal on something I need, but the chaos that surrounds that day doesn’t bring me the joy I once experienced.
From a financial perspective as well, I find myself spending more money than I probably should when I’m surrounded by good deals. It’s too irresistible! Why wouldn’t I buy a sweater that’s 75% off, even if I already have plenty of them? New bed sheets that I don’t need but want because they’re on sale? Sure!
There is nothing wrong with going out on Black Friday and taking advantage of deals; however, I often wonder about the excess things we end up purchasing because we “perceive” that we need them on days like today. What would it look like to give up our excess instead of just freely adding to it?
Let’s take a moment to think about the things we have an abundance of right now. Maybe it’s certain material things, money, or maybe it’s food. Maybe you have an abundance of good relationships, or you’re incredibly gifted at something and have an abundance of talent. Is your first instinct to share these gifts with others or do you keep them close to yourself? 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”
You see, not only are we called to be thankful for our blessings, we are also called to share our excess in order to bless those in need. As the body of Christ, we are called to share our gifts to help build up that body and spur each other on.
So, before you hit the stores today, think about what it is that you need vs. what you want. Maybe instead of buying the discounted sweaters in all 5 colors for yourself, you purchase them to add to supply bags for the homeless. Maybe you have a friend that’s been going through a rough time and you invite them to come join you on your shopping spree. Whatever blessings or gifts you have, share them with those around you.