For some of you, this message entered your inbox this morning at about the same time that you began braving the crowds in a line outside your favorite department store.
For others, there’s not a deal out there good enough to cause you to enter the fray.
Regardless of which camp you’re in, you’re probably aware that today is the busiest shopping day of the year.
It’s also a day on which there will likely be some senseless violence between would-be purchasers who are desperately pursuing the same bargain.
Maybe it’s appropriate for us to reflect on a couple of biblical thoughts:
Don’t let the holiday season be about the stuff.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the gifts that need to be bought, making sure we get the right item, spend the right amount, etc., that we forget the importance of what really lasts: time with family and friends, compassion for others, and our ongoing relationship with Christ.
He said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
Let’s remind ourselves often of that, and also teach it to our kids and grandkids.
Don’t let the stress change how you treat people.
It’s always mind-boggling to hear of someone getting seriously injured or even killed over a heavily discounted Xbox 360 or Tickle Me Elmo or LED television.
Whatever it is, and however great the discount, it isn’t worth treating someone else badly.
I doubt any of us would ever actually hurt someone over a bargain, but perhaps we’ll be tempted to let the stress of the next month or so cause us to be unkind to our spouse, children, or co-workers.
Paul wrote, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:30-32).
It’s just not worth it to be unkind to the people around us. Life’s too short and time’s too precious to mess it up because of holiday stress.