Ramblings about Black Friday

I want to begin by saying that Black Friday is not evil. It is a legitimate time for good deals and good deals are most definitely a good thing. I have gone Black Friday shopping before--maybe I'll go later today.

I will say however that what we spend our time doing tells a lot about us. What we spend our money on tells a lot about us. What we stand in line for hours tells a lot about what we value. Our actions will always eventually reveal our hearts.

So when I see the annual "pilgrimage" to malls and retailers every year known as Black Friday--where thousands of people stand in line, wait overnight, scour every row and aisle for the latest deal--I think it is revealing about what our culture values: stuff.

We love stuff in America. We have so much of it that I do not even think we realize how much stuff we have. Sometimes it takes a trip outside the comfortable walls of our homes or even our country to recognize that: "man, we really love stuff." I had one such epiphany when I visited Brazil in 2012.

I was looking through my old journal and I recounted a conversation I had with a Brazilian brother in Christ. I wrote down on 3/11/12: "...One thing that hit me like a ton of bricks was this--we broke up into small groups and talked about what gets in the way of freedom in Christ. This man (the pastor) said (to our small group): 'I often have materialistic thoughts and that distracts me from God.' What? If this man, whose house is a cement floored, tin roofed home with a puddle in its living room--if this man is materialistic--I am screwed."

It is true. We went to this man's home and there was a puddle in his living room. And he said that he wrestled with "materialistic thoughts."

When was the last time you had: "materialistic thoughts?" To be honest, those two words put together do not even register for me. They do not compute. We are so immersed in stuff we do not even know it is a problem. And I think that is a problem.

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