Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV

What do you get when you multiply 151 million people times $300? It equals a very successful Black Friday weekend for retailers – $12.1 billion for Black Friday related shopping in 2015.a  It also means big spending and likely some added credit card debt for you.

The Friday after Thanksgiving has historically begun the Christmas shopping season. Retailers around the country have massive sales and incentives to lure us into their lairs and mesmerize us into handing over our money for trinkets and gadgets. This massive influx of cash creates equally massive profits for the retailers and moves their business profits from the RED (losing money), into the BLACK (making money). Hence, “Black Friday” was born, along with a new type of forming to go with it. And they have you to thank for it.

You’re probably like me and think, ”Relax…I’m not being formed into the image of the world”. But it’s such a slow fade, such a subtle forming and conforming, that sometimes we don’t even notice…after a while it can get hard to tell…our perspective gets a little lazy and hazy… other times, like on Black Friday with the crowds, online shopping, and the endless hype, we can change right before our own eyes.

In Genesis 1:27, God speaks about forming us in His image. Psalm 139 talks about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Ephesians 2:10 shares that we are his workmanship and Romans 12:2 commands us to not be conformed to this world. Yet once we step foot on this earth, the spiritual forming begins.

The bottom line is this: If we let it, the world will form us into something that looks a lot more like itself and a lot less like Jesus. Click To Tweet

PLEASE READ THIS. God has nothing against shopping, purchasing what you need, and there’s nothing wrong with getting some good deals on some gifts for those you love. But how far will you go? How early will you start? How much of the day will it dominate? Is it worth the hassle?

I just want to ask you to think about it, talk about it and plan accordingly.

The chances are, you’ll likely venture out into the Black Friday sales extravaganzas, or pull out your laptop or smartphone at some time over the Thanksgiving holiday to nab a good deal. So I can’t let you get out there without giving you a few practical Black Friday tips that have proven useful :

    • Somebody will be watching what you do and how you handle this situation.
    • What are your shopping habits and shopping traditions teaching your kids, your friends, and your family, about money?
    • Contrary to popular belief, shopping is not entertainment.
    • There are better deals on many items before and after Black Friday. Do your shopping research in advance and be smart.
    • Online deals can be just as good, or better than store deals, and the best part is, you don’t have to go anywhere to get them!
    • Be sure to keep your receipts and ask if the store will price match after the sale if you should find the item at a lower price. This is getting to be a popular option for many retailers.
    • If you do venture out into the fray, take two (2) things with you:
      • 1) a list, so you only buy what you’ve planned to buy
      • 2) a strong friend, for accountability
    • This is shopping, not a fight, so be gracious and love your “neighbor shopper”. Trust me, you don’t want to show up on a viral video fighting over a $24 microwave!

If you do decide to shop, keep family time, thankfulness and Thanksgiving first, shop wisely, stick to your plan, take a strong friend, and stay out of debt. Remember, if we let it, the world will form us into something that looks a lot more like the itself and a lot less like Jesus. We each have the opportunity to fight against being conformed to the world, and instead, to be transformed to become more like Jesus, and THAT is the best deal of all – any day.

John’s CHANGE FOR YOUR DOLLAR:  What is your best Thanksgiving memory or favorite Thanksgiving family tradition?

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a Source – CNBC “Black Friday Brought in 151M, most online: NRF Survey” http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/29/black-friday-brought-in-151m-most-online-nrf-survey.html

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