But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.– Galatians 6:14
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I find myself reminiscing on times past this morning as I meditate upon the scriptures I just read. The world has labeled today Black Friday. The world has a way of taking the works of God- the beautiful events of His story- and adding a demonic twist to it. With the birth of Christ came Christmas; with the resurrection of Christ came Easter; and with the death of Christ we have here today Black Friday! Now there are plenty of worldly excuses for naming these days such; looking at Black Friday we see that the name originated from retailers reporting sales in the black (meaning a profit was made) on the day after Thanksgiving where they had been in the red before and supposedly the police officers in Philadelphia noticed an astronomical increase in foot traffic to and from shops the day after Thanksgiving and began calling it Black Friday.
Whatever the origin, whatever the reason for the names and traditions associated with these famous days the overwhelming thing they all have in common is worldly, is rooted in lusts and in the love of mammon! I remember planning for weeks my Black Friday schedule- which stores I would run to, what I planned to purchase and for whom- mapping it out precisely all the while I often was conscience of the fact that we could not really afford to buy most of it. I would reason that away and tell myself it was in the spirit of giving, the spirit of tradition. Afterall, I truly do love giving gifts and there’s no better time to give than at Christmas! Right? Isn’t that what Jesus would want me to do? He would want me to go in debt, stretch my budget too far, lie to my children about where the presents came from, lie to my children about Santa Claus and his reindeer, and on and on and on! That’s why He came to earth? That’s why He willfully went to the cross and laid down His life- so that I could spend too much money, lie to my children, and post Holiday photos on social media to show how together we had it- right?
How foolish I was, we are, when we give in to the lies of the world and then turn and feed them straight to our children. The Bible instructs us in Proverbs 22:6 to Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. And we do, and the love of the world and the things in it continues to permeate our society to the point that good is called evil, and evil is called good. God Forbid!
Here I am today, this morning, remembering and praising God that the world has been crucified to me, yet mourning for all of those still lost in it. Those parents struggling to keep up with the Jones’! Struggling to meet the demands of the world! Those looking to be fulfilled through the acquiring of material goods for themselves or those they loved; looking but never achieving! Those parents, a great many of which profess to know Christ as I did back then, who do not comprehend the depth of what occurred on the real black Friday over 2000 years ago and, thus, do not teach it to their children. The love of the world pulls strong on their hearts and minds and they answer to the pull rather than turn to Christ! Oh, that they would have eyes to see, ears to hear! That they would be set free from this worldly bondage and love of mammon; that they would turn to Christ and live!
As I read my morning devotional by Oswald Chambers this morning, My Utmost for His Highest: Updated Language Paperback, I was reminded that those who are truly set free no longer seek the things of this world but their focus, their interests, become those of Jesus Christ. Practical things of beauty; spiritual things above; all encompassing passion for others based on the love they have for the Lord. No longer looking to material items to earn the affections of others or to show that they care but, rather, serving with a selfless spirit and sharing the love of Christ. A contagious thing of beauty that permeates to the soul and spirit of human kind outside the reason and logic of man.