Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2)
All across America, the first day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday,” marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The most plausible explanation for the term “Black Friday” is related to the profit and loss statements for retailers; the Christmas shopping crush is when many retailers begin to turn a profit for the fiscal year, thus going from being “in the red” on their balance sheets to being “in the black.”
I would like to suggest another name for this day: “Forgetful Friday.” I say that because so many of us become totally immersed in buying and selling on this day, not even 24 hours after we had spent our time giving thanks to God for His many blessings. How soon we forget!
For many, their forgetfulness begins even before Friday, due to the countless “pre-Black Friday” sales; some of these even take place during Thanksgiving Day. To fully grasp how complete the forgetfulness is for many, you can go online and pull up countless video clips of the consumer chaos created by shoppers flooding stores, looking to save a buck. Like herds of raging bulls ready to stampede, they gather outside retail outlets hours before the scheduled opening; when the doors open, it is every man, woman, and child for themselves. Shoppers and employees have been trampled, vicious fights have broken out in store isles, and some have even been killed . . . all in search of a “Black Friday” bargain
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with looking for bargains; that is simply being a good steward of the resources God has given us. We should look for sales and clip coupons whenever we can. But when the “stuff” of this life begins to crowd out our Savior, we are heading in the wrong direction. When we get up from the last bite of our thanksgiving meal and start shoving our way through crowds to get the best deal, we have shoved our Master off the throne of our lives and replaced Him with the god “Merchandise.”
But this is not for you! If you are heading out to take advantage of some super sales this “Black Friday,” just remember what you celebrated the day before: Thanksgiving! The key is to be thankful for what you have while you are in pursuit of what you want, and to make sure you pursue those wants in a way that honors and glorifies God.
Perhaps keeping these words from the apostle Paul in view will help protect us from getting caught up in the frenzy of “Forgetful Friday” —
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!