Fridays are great. I look forward to every one – I’m not necessarily counting down from first thing on a Monday, but who doesn’t get excited by the prospect of a weekend of socialising/relaxation/sport?
There’s one Friday, in particular, we’ve elevated to new heights of epicness and it’s coming up this week – Black Friday.
Following our American friends, it’s become a time for browsing and bargains, and in most cases the sales have been extended to weeks, not just days!
I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand shopping in the sales is good stewardship of our finances and on the other hand, our attitude to it can feed consumerism and skew our priorities. I’d like to think I’m not the kind of guy to clamber over people in the aisles of ASDA desperately reaching for the last Samsung TV, but I know it can sometimes bring out the worst in all of us.
So, if like me, you find it all a bit uneasy and aren’t sure how to respond, here are four steps to take this Black Friday.
Some of the products we buy have a long-lasting impact on our global neighbours and our world. This Black Friday, why not do some extra research on how the items you’re purchasing are made? Did you know that some electronic items have devastating impacts when they’re sent to landfill? Or certain high street chains can cause us to compromise our Christian values? A little extra research can give us a lot more consumer wisdom.
You can also check out some great retailers producing ethically produced presents – here are five fashion suggestions to get you started.
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
Black Friday is a great time to tick some presents off your shopping list, but as well as a digital radio for Dad and a pair of socks for Auntie Joan, why not think about anyone who could use some support right now? Are there people in your church, friendship circles or family who could benefit from a heavily discounted item. If you can afford it, who could you bless this Black Friday rather than waiting for Christmas?
SHARE THE SAVINGS
Have you thought about offsetting your spending? If you’re shopping for yourself this Friday, set aside some money that can make a difference. If you save £20 on a treat for yourself, you could donate £10 of your savings to a cause you’re passionate about. That way, you still make a saving, but others benefit too.
CHECK YOUR PRIORITIES
Jesus talks a lot about our attitude to money and greed. Rather than the message of “don’t buy anything” he consistently calls us to keep our priorities in check. In Luke 12:15, Jesus says “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” Whether you’re buying in the sales or not, this period of festive shopping gives us an opportunity to put money in its rightful place and make sure it’s not becoming an idol.
We’d love to hear any ideas you have for making the most of Black Friday – why not drop us a DM on Instagram at @WeAreTearfund? If you enjoyed these tips, join the #WeAreTearfund movement and sign up to receive stories, advice and ideas direct to your inbox.