Friday, November 26, 2010

thankFULL people...
being filled with thanks
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Every year on this day, a strange phenominon occurs...Black Friday Shopping. Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving in the U.S., traditionally marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Shopping gets earlier each year and the ads more abundant. Retailers try to get a jump on their competetors by offering "doorbuster" and "early bird" promotional sales. This year many stores opened at midnight to kick off the shopping season.
Shoppers are whipped into a frenzy with commercials, sales flyers, and the promise of getting a better deal than anyone else. While some have made this a fun social event with friends and/or family, others claw, scratch, and fight to get to the deals.
For whatever this is worth, The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive traffic on that day. The name stuck and later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or "in the black."
Over the years, I've watched how all of this retail promotion affects my family... and me! Here are a few thoughts.
1) It doesn't take much for our "gratitide-o-meter" to get out of whack and need adjustment. As I was looking through the mound of sales papers, I would catch myself saying, "I NEED this or that". "That would make things better" or "My friends have one of those __________(fill in the blank) and I should have one, too."
It's troubling how quickly a few pictures and numbers could skew our thinking so radically. I find myself dissatisfied with the perfectly good t.v. that I have because I see one that is tauted as "bigger and better".
Maybe we should spend a little more time in homeless shelters and soup kitchens than in shopping malls to "re-calibrate" our gratitude. When we give and when we serve, we grow... and so does our thankfulness!
2) Greed is not a new problem. 1 John 2:16 says, "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Before we say that our "gimme" attitudes have been created by the retailers and the advertisers... we need to realize that it's an internal problem. They've just stirred the appetite.
In 1 John 2, all sin is deliniated into three categories:

The lustful desires of the flesh
The lustful desires of the eyes
The pride of life (boasting in achievements and possessions)

These sum it up! We desire pleasure, we want, we crave, we desire. Lust is most commonly associated with unrestrained sexual desires. However, these obsessive desires could be thirst for power, knowledge, or worldly possessions, which fill our daily thoughts in an unhealthy manner – causing us to pursue such things no matter the cost – many times creating a wave of pain and consequence.

God wants to bring fulfilment into your life, yet temptations come to stir dissatisfaction. John Piper says that "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him". He longs to meet your needs and satisfy your soul...Seek Him as your provision and you won't be disappointed!

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