Today is Black Friday in the United States of America—the day following the holiday Thursday of Thanksgiving and the traditional kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. It is commonly believed to be the busiest shopping day of the year. (Statistics show that it has been in the top ten for many years.) Although here in Canada some retailers (mostly American chains) offer some Black Friday specials, there is nothing like the hype that I hear from the United States. Never having experienced it for myself, I only speculate that mobs of people line up for hours waiting for stores to open, and then fight (I hope not literally) through the crowds to get the best deals they can on the things they want, then line up again to pay for them and get out of the store. I have to wonder if people are making rational choices about what they are buying or are they being influenced by crowd mentality. Do they go into the store for one or two things, things they wanted before they went through the door, or do they go and see what the best deals are and then congratulate themselves for all the money they’ve saved. Michel Bell, author of Managing God’s Money would tell you that you haven’t saved anything; you’ve just spent less than the original price on the sticker. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if it is for an item that you already wanted and had justified buying, but you need to make a rational decision, a God-led decision, about it first, not just buy on impulse.
Is there something, besides the necessities of life, that you like to spend your money on? Do you have a favourite hobby or pastime? Is it expensive to enjoy? Is it part of your regular budget? It’s what you really like to do, so it is where you invest your extra cash when you have some. This is pretty normal for most people; they put their money where their desires are. Our money follows our heart. But the Bible tells us that the opposite is true. Our heart will follow our money. (Matthew 6:21)
In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus told His listeners to keep an eternal perspective. Don’t focus on things that will remain on this earth at the end of your life. Focus on that which has eternal significance. There are so many poor and needy people in every country of the world that could use your help. There are many who don’t know who Jesus is. There are many charities that work to heal people, to save lives, to make life just a little bit better for those who are less fortunate. Please take time today to think about what matters most to you. Where is your treasure?