4 Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! 5 Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. 7 Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.
This is an ironic scripture for Black Friday, when the American public collectively seems to lose its mind. The day after we stay in to celebrate gratitude, we go forth to celebrate gimme.
When the world seems to be going crazy, Paul’s advice is especially helpful. Focus on what is good. Continue to spend your time on thanksgiving, on joy, on Jesus.
On this particular day, it might be especially helpful to remember that Paul wrote these words while he was in prison. Though it was likely more of a house arrest than a cold damp cell, I’m certain he still missed his freedom. I’m sure he didn’t enjoy a lot of material comforts. And yet Paul, even under these circumstances, could say: “I’m content.” (See Philippians 4:12-13.)
What if we celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving, not as a day of frenzied consumerism, but as an annual day of contentment? What if it were a day to focus on family, friends, and all that is good?
Make that choice – the choice of contentment – and the God of peace will be with you!
For Pondering & Prayer
What are some areas in your life where it’s easy to find contentment? What are some areas where that’s more difficult?
Can you imagine what it might look like for the nation to “celebrate a day of contentment” as opposed to a pre-Christmas shopping extravaganza? What would it look like to “celebrate contentment”?