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article imageOp-Ed: What Christians should consider buying on Black Friday

By Paul Bright     Nov 25, 2014 in World
Black Friday will be upon us soon. Many fellow Christians will be out there shopping. But are they shopping for the right gifts?
Another Black Friday is coming. Fellow shoppers, to include Christians like myself, will be out that weekend getting the best deals on gifts in hopes that they will bring joy to many faces on Christmas, also known as Jesus' birthday.
I was invited to a lot of birthday parties growing up. As an adult, they became even more infrequent, but they still happened and the pattern was the same. Everyone came in, had food, had fun, watched the guest of honor blow out candles and then watch him or her open a ton of presents.
I cannot recall any birthday party outside of my own where I received a gift. I can't recall one where I was asked by the parents to make a list of gifts I'd like to have on their son's birthday. I don't even remember thinking about giving them a list. What I remember is getting the guest of honor a present with no remorse, no jealousy or hint of reluctance. I suspect many other people have had the same experience. Who goes into someone else's birthday party expecting gifts?
I would say no one, but every Black Friday we shop as if this was the expectation on Jesus' birthday. Why do we ask our own children to make lists? Why do we create that expectation, or have one, of getting gifts when it's not OUR birthday? I'm sure we buy these gifts with good intentions. We want our loved ones to be happy. We don't want our little ones to feel left out of the hoopla and feel uncomfortable when their classmates ask "what did you get for Christmas?" We want to take time out in our busy lives to show our loved ones we care about them.
But what would Jesus want on his birthday? While I can't point out that answer anywhere in the Bible, I can locate a verse or two on what Jesus says about giving.
Matthew 25:40 tells me when you give to the least of His people, you are doing it for Him. The less fortunate are His people! Besides, you'll be rewarded in Heaven for doing so, as it also reads in Proverbs 19:7
Matthew 6:2- 4 tells me that if you give to the needy, don't do it with great celebration and fanfare so that everyone knows what you're doing. There's no shame in talking about your giving to inspire others to do the same, but give in secret and you will get a true reward in Heaven.
While I'm not a certified bible scholar or theologist, I don't see where Jesus asked for these things to happen only between the day after Thanksgiving and right up to Christmas. This is how we're supposed to live as Christians.
Am I saying you shouldn't buy anything on Black Friday or any day after that for anyone else because it's un-Christian to do so? Not hardly. In fact, I hope everyone goes out and finds the best deals they can... for the least fortunate. Buy up every pair of socks, pair of gloves, coats, clothes, blankets, food... whatever you can get that would help others not just this season but all year round. Whatever charity you give them to, ask what sort of help they need for the year and commit to something. Remember that it's cold on the 26th of December, too.
As for children and loved ones, buy them a thing or two as well. Save the spoiling for their birthdays. Remind them of whose birthday they are celebrating on Christmas, and any gift they get is a bonus but the REAL gifts are in Heaven.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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