By Pastor Rod LaFee
Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Did you spend it with family or friends or did you just stay home? For many Thanksgiving was a day of having to work. They were part of the workers getting the stores ready for the busiest shopping day of the year. Then there were others who actually had to work during the time of all the shoppers. We got to hear of the dreaded stories of how people treat each other. We then hear of incidents of people fighting over a television or over a shopping cart or waiting on long lines for hours just to get into the store and then long hours in line just to purchase the product. I did that once. My wife talked me into going and waiting in line for a limited supply of computers. We needed a new one again in trying to keep up with technology and the price was worth the wait. I remember first waiting in line for a couple of hours just to get into the store so I could get in line for the item. I remember people cutting in front of each other to make sure they were near the front of the line. I waited and waited in this crowded line only to be just three back from getting the last computer. You all remember this day? They call it Black Friday. They got the name wrong, they should have called it Rude Friday. On this day, you take all your manners and you set them aside and you act as rude as you can, at least that seemed to be the way people behaved.
James 4:1-3 tells us this “ What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it, You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motive, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Jesus faced the very same issues in his lifetime also. He was constantly being ridiculed, challenged and even called names and yet He told us the second greatest commandment of all was to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus had the command of all the angels of the universe and He never used them against His accusers. He loved us so much He was willing to die on that cross for my sins and yours. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to you and in verse 10 we are told to humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. In the middle of all the confusion I do remember a person giving up their shopping cart to another. Their comment was I am only here for one or two items and I can use a basket instead. In spite of all the news reports of all the incidents that happened, it was only a small percentage compared to others who showed love to their neighbor. Even though I did not get a computer that day, there was another sale just a few days later in which the store had plenty in stock. 1 Timothy 6: 6-8 says “ Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world , and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” As we are shopping this holiday season let us remember loving your neighbor is way more important than that item we cannot take with us when we leave this world.