Contentment: Philippians vs. Black Friday

Black Friday and all of its craziness has come and gone for another year. Now it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. It is a good thing that Black Friday has passed because of all of the crazy things it makes people do, right?

Wrong.

Black Friday isn’t the cause of peoples’ sinful behavior, but an avenue that draws it out. Black Friday allows people to show, to an extent, where many find contentment. Some people like comfort foods, some people like comfort buying. There is nothing inherently evil about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Rather, it is people acting on their evil desires. They find something fulfilling about buying stuff they want at a cheaper price than usual.

Some how people find contentment in stuff; temporary contentment. Pointing fingers at those fools in the Black Friday news stories and shaking my head at them is easy.

The real test is when I’m the fool and I find myself searching for contentment in something I want as if it is something I need. I don’t do Black Friday because of all the craziness, but I also realize that I’m not really that far from jumping into the craziness – if I’m honest.

When thinking about contentment I usually find myself opening the Scriptures to Philippians 4.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.” (Philippians 4:11-14 ESV)

Contrast those Scriptures with a humanized, me-centered version that might read something like this:

“Not that I am speaking of my wants, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to want more. I know how to want just a few things, and I know how to want a lot. In any and every circumstance, I have a secret that whether I have plenty or am hungry, have a lot or a little – I always want more. I want all the things I desire so they can strengthen me. It should be no trouble to share stuff with me.”  (Me 4:11-14)

I think about why I want all of the stuff I do. Then, I realize I probably have too much stuff all ready; and it’s not fulfilling.

For what it’s worth…

Mark

p.s. There are still a few things I want.

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