I’ve never been a doorbuster. The one time I woke up early to go get some screaming deal on Black Friday, I was with my mom, I was in junior high, and I got socks, from Fred Meyer. Go team. Yet as much as I kibosh the spirit of consumerism on Black Friday, I have noticed a distinct desire in my heart when those ads roll out.
The Desire For Something
I was in Costco last week, and as I was walking, out the receipt checker lady (it’s a technical term) handed me their Black Friday coupons. And my heart leapt. In all seriousness, as I began to look through the tablets, computers and TV’s on crazy discounts, my heart was filled with joy and desire. One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to sit down with my brother and sister, and wade through the stacks of ads stuffed in Thursday’s paper. From books, to electronics, baby supplies to kitchen appliances, everyone everywhere is advertising once in a lifetime prices and limited supplies.
I do go shopping on Friday, but normally it’s to a bookstore or something of the like where I can get out in under $20. But with that said, I know my money and time are limited on Black Friday, but I cannot shake the desire to want. You can call it consumerism, but I think the Bible describes it as a desire for worship.
The Consumer’s Desire to Be Consumed
Solomon warns us in Proverbs 23, “Do not toil to acquire wealth, be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle towards heaven” (Prov 23:4-5). According to Solomon our desire for wealth (or the things we can purchase with wealth) only leave us longing, as what we once thought was permanent sprouts wings and soars off into the distance. Solomon, who happened to be the richest and most powerful man ever, the dominator of Black Friday deals, reflected on his desire for things in Ecclesiastes: “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold it was all vanity and a striving after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecc 2:11).
What Solomon warns, Black Friday confirms. Each and every human is fascinated with the idea of more, especially if more is on sale. The solution to our lust for 2 for 1 TV’s and half price linens is not to guard your heart, it’s to fill it. Our addiction to desire exists because we were born into a void. We have desire, because God has made himself as something to be desired.
The Desire For More
Our bodies were designed to be enraptured with the idea of more. We have a desire to be wrapped in discounted good which come at little cost to us. The cross is both of these. Jesus is the object of greater desire. He is the one who offered a free gift to all of us. And while this gift was free, it was not cheap, bought with the most precious of blood for the most lowly of sinners. We were meant to lust for more, we were meant to desire to be filled. But we cannot be filled by the latest gadget or bestseller. We are filled by the Great Pearl (Matt 13:46), the Hidden Treasure (Matt 13:44), the object of Surpassing Worth (Phil 3:8), the Prince of Peace (Is 9:6), Jesus Christ the righteous one (Acts 22:14).
The same Solomon who reflected on the fleeting pleasures of all else came to the conclusion which we should be mindful of this Black Friday, “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and the power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart” (Ecc 5:19-20).
This Black Friday, check your heart and follow its impulses, only follow them redepmtively. Your desire to be filled, your desire to have, finds its fullness in Christ and in him our heart will be occupied with joy forever and always. There is no item limit on his grace, and the great sin destroyer will always outshine the greatest doorbuster.