“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15
I realize that on this “Black Friday”, the biggest shopping day of the year, that the virtues of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” may not be what we witness in most people we encounter. Since I currently live outside the United States in a 3rd World country, I don’t have to deal with the craziness of “Black Friday” deals. Well, to be honest, I never got into the day after Thanksgiving shopping even when I was in the States. I’m one of those rare females who hates to shop. I depend on my hubby for that.
Anyway, moving on to the point I want to make: This morning, I had time to call one of sisters and have a long talk. My middle sister recently lost her husband, who was only 50 years old. She was telling me about things that God led him to take care of in his last days and one of those things was to reach out to a family member who had basically been shunned by the entire family. Apparently, this family member had done something that hurt the family deeply but it happened many years ago. During the last weeks of his life, my brother-in-law reconnected with his uncle and made sure that he let him know that he had no ill feelings toward him and he asked his uncle to forgive him for not doing this sooner. At the funeral, the pastor shared many stories about my brother-in-law’s life and he talked about forgiveness and letting go of the past instead of allowing past hurts to rob us of the blessings of family. After hanging up the phone, I thought about times in my life when I’ve allowed feelings of resentment, unforgiveness, or anger to control me. There have been many times that I lost precious moments that could have been spent with a loved one just because I allowed anger to rule instead of offering forgiveness and moving forward. My brother-in-law was only 50 years old; I’m 50 years old. I lost my mom in 2008. She was only 61 years old. I don’t know how many years I’ll live on this earth but I know that so many leave too soon and I don’t want to spend my last days trying to make up for past regrets. Time is precious and I can’t get back all those moments that I lost in the past but I can learn to live a life of love and to allow “the peace of Christ to rule in my heart”, instead of allowing unforgiveness and anger to rule. I pray that you too allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart today, even while competing for that “must have” bargain.
On the topic of “Black Friday” shopping; I pray that you can practice these virtues:
compassion: show a little compassion to the employees who are working some very long hard hours today to make these “deals” possible for you
kindness: as they say, “kill them with kindness”; even if someone is rude to you, respond with kindness
humility: don’t overpower others just to grab a bargain; be humble
gentleness: if you practice the 3 mentioned already, then you’ve got this one
patience: this is a tough one today but be patient with other shoppers, their out there for the same reason you are; be patient in traffic, it may save someone’s life, or your own; be patient with store cashiers who are trying to get you through the line as quickly as they can.
Try to practice these virtues and share the love of Christ, even on the busiest shopping day of the year…. if you can pull it off today, then you can do it any time.