I am studying this week for a new sermon series I will start on Sunday on the concept of Greed. As this date has approached, I have been overcome by the irony of starting it the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Why? Because if you think about it, they are polar opposites. The Thanksgiving Holiday began because our ancestors were thankful for all they had. Greed lies to the heart telling it doesn't have enough. One has to do with being content. The other, never content. Ever. It always wants more.
In the process of my studying, I came across a blog post by Matt Walsh on the concept of consumerism overtaking Thanksgiving. His point is that if you shop on Thanksgiving Day, you are part of the problem in our consumerist America. Your greed is why thousands, probably millions, of Americans will not be able to spend time with their family giving thanks for all they have. They will be trying to help serve you in your pursuit for more things that will simply end up in a dump someday. There are many insightful things he says in this blog and I would encourage you to read the entire article. Here is just a sampling.
"For a while, Black Friday and Thanksgiving coexisted. We thanked God for His blessings on Thursday, and then jumped into the consumer mosh pit at Best Buy on Friday. But this Black Friday-Thanksgiving marriage was tenuous and rocky from the start. It was doomed to fail. Thanksgiving offers tradition, family, and contentment; Black Friday offers smart phones at drastically reduced prices. In America, we all know who wins that battle. So Black Friday, like a black hole, violently expanded; it absorbed the light that surrounded it and sucked everything into its terrifying abyss, where all substance is torn to shreds and obliterated. Black Friday could not be contained to a mere 24 hours. It is Consumerism. It wants more. It always wants more. Nothing is sacred to it; nothing is valuable. So, now, Black Friday has eaten Thanksgiving alive. Thanksgiving let out a desperate cry as Black Friday devoured its soul, but we barely noticed. It's hard to hear anything when you're wrestling 4,000 other people for buy one get one free cargo shorts at Old Navy." (Read the entire article HERE)
What will the next four days say about who you are? Are you a coveter? Are you moved by Greed? Are you thankful for what you have?
Please do not understand me, there is nothing wrong with shopping this weekend. I bought a stove and microwave a few weeks ago and still go the Black Friday specials. I am not saying "don't spend money." But what I am asking is that you use this weekend as a opportunity to evaluate your heart. Why do you spend? Answering that question honestly might just expose some things in your heart you won't want to know. As James, the brother of Jesus, says . . .
"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (4:4)
What does your desire for more say about your desire for God?