Black Friday. Traditionally the day retailers are finally “in the black” from an accounting perspective and become profitable.
But sometimes I think Black Friday brings out some blackness in my heart. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that our mission to find gifts to bring joy often leads to exhaustion, frustration, and short tempers? A desire to bless people we love becomes a means of cursing the people who surround us – in stores, in traffic, in our homes.
Maybe it’s a good day for us to strive to be profitable in grace. Maybe it’s the perfect day to overcome the deficit created by criticizing and correcting and seek to fill our relationship banks with the good currency of grace. Maybe it’s a good day to build others up and use our words, tones, facial expressions, and gestures to give grace, to build others up.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
What could this look like on Black Friday?
Many of us have already returned from our middle-of-the-night-bargain-hunting adventures! Perhaps our opportunity to extend grace means we remember it was our choice to be under-rested. If you are like me, exhaustion often wears down my defenses and I am a little more short tempered, a little more snappish and feisty, a little less tolerant of spills, injuries, laughter and noise. Maybe the joy we hoped to spread by finding special gifts could extend to creating joy today, for those in our homes and around our table. Maybe the same love that went into roasting the turkey could go into making turkey sandwiches or decorating the tree.
For those of us who have yet to venture out into the bargain arena, may I suggest we bring some light into the blackness? Today is a great day to extend grace to others. Perhaps smiling at the other shoppers, offering our place in line to someone with fewer items (or more items!), bringing snacks to share with people waiting alongside you – the ones you don’t even know who are growling about the poor management and lines and sales they missed by oversleeping on this fine day? Maybe we get a crowd singing Christmas carols while we wait, or enlist the help of other shoppers to bless someone? Or leave a little money for the person behind us, to help with their expensive Christmas purchases.
Get creative! What ways can you bring grace and hope with you as you shop (or recover from shopping)?