We are just a few weeks away from black Friday shopping when the United States loses all of its ‘red sticker rationale;’ Meaning: if it’s got a sale tag, it’s a bargain. Only to realize once the receipt is in hand that this is not so much the case. But it’s truly more about the hunt and snare. We want the latest and greatest and we’re bringing up a generation who expects and demands it from not only their parents but the retail world, and they’re happy to oblige. I watched my grandson and granddaughter play with left over hardwood flooring last night for an hour or better. For Luke it was a construction project; for Paityn it was her “Balwance” beam. Yes I know it’s misspelled, it was just too cute. At my kitchen table where Luke and I played ‘Go Fish’, the television broadcasted a toy commercial and immediately Luke seriously needed it. Paityn had the new Build a Bear catalog and at two years old was in awe over the selection and it was fun to listen to her little girl dream about the bear with the magic wand. Just moments before both had been satisfied with what was there and available. There are many days that I seriously need stuff, and want Paityn’s magic wand to make it happen.
What God says about Want vs. Need
When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.
Obesity in the nation is out of control not because of all the delectable foods that are available, because rich and poor alike suffer from it. It’s out of control because both the rich and the poor won’t stop eating. The children of Israel had come out of the wilderness where the flesh they ate was used for sacrifice, it was killed at the door of the tabernacle, and part of it presented to God as a peace offering. (Lev. 17:3-4). But when they came to Canaan, they lived a great distance from the tabernacle, and God has now given more leeway concerning the meat, within reason. They were permitted to kill whatever they pleased or their own use of their flocks and herds without bringing it to the altar, but not just for the sake of its existence. There should be a genuine longing (hunger). There was no large screen televisions blasting images of temptation before them or marketing strategies of the day but to err is human and to forgive is a reason to celebrate and celebration is reason to eat… and so we grow. Horizontally not spiritually. God warned them as He does us, “Don’t just do it because you see it.”
Wise advice as we go into this season. Before you buy ask:
- Do I or they need this? (or do they just want it)
- Will it nourish or edify me? (Does it have purpose?)
- Is it God approved? (Would you carry it to the temple door?)
Wanting something frivolous is not wrong, but it’s wrong if we want it just because it’s there and have no need for it, or if it draws us away from God. If after those 3 questions are answered and all three have been satisfied in your heart, and you’re not spending beyond your means then shop on my friend! It’s about ‘balwance.’ Life should be fun and we should be faithful stewards of it all.
One extra word of advice before the madness of black Friday. Pray over that day. Earnestly. Ask God for godly wisdom and ask Him for bargains, He can supply both!