Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Last Minute "Black Friday" Challenge, er, ah, Deal!

As of the time I'm writing this, we're mere minutes from "Black Friday": the most American of holidays. Once we've spent a day overeating, now let's get up really early to overspend on stuff we don't need!

OK, OK, snark aside, I actually appreciate Black Friday on some level.

OK, I lied. One more bit of snark: we call it "Black" Friday, but isn't it middle class white people that make this day so crazy?

I promise the snark is out of my system now. Pinkie swear.

As I was saying, I appreciate the concept of a day with lots of sales. Businesses need to turn a profit, and we can all stand to save some money in a time where the economy is down. If you're getting up early to take advantage of the savings (which means either you're up really late and not getting enough sleep tonight, or you're reading this on your phone while in line at some store), I applaud you for saving money.

I have one question: what are you going to do with the money you've saved?

If you're motivated enough to get up really early and go fight the crowds, chances are you have a pretty good idea how much money you've saved today. And chances are you've told at least one person how much that is. So I'll ask again, what are you going to do with it?

We live in a time when almost none of us has enough money, so I'm not going to ask you to do anything drastic (but, to be fair, Jesus did ask someone to do something drastic once). I'm simply going to ask you to consider a tithe from your savings.

Did you go out and save $500 on Christmas gifts today? Great! A tithe is 10%, according to a number of ancient sources. So if you saved $500, consider giving $50 to a charity. Any charity. It could be a local church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious center, it could be the Red Cross, it could be World Vision, it could be HEAL Africa (the benificiaries of the recent 30 till 30 Challenge), or any of the literally thousands (heck, probably millions) of worthy charitable organizations out there. I mean, you already saved all that money. Giving a tenth of it away isn't going to hurt.

So here's the challenge. Go take advantage of those great Black Friday deals. Figure out how much you saved. Then tithe 10% of it to any organization you feel deserves it. Then leave a comment on this blog and share what kind of good you did with your Black Friday savings. And if you choose not to broadcast it, then it's just between you and God, and Jesus had something very positive to say about that.

Personally, I'm not getting up early tomorrow, and I probably won't be shopping at all. Cyber-Monday will probably be a different story, however. But I'll be keeping a tally of what I'm spending and how much I'm saving in holiday gift-buying. I'll commit right now to giving away at least 10% of those savings. Will you join me?

If we all decided to tithe one-tenth of the money we save during all of these holiday sales, we could make a huge impact on the world.

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