December 2, 2009
"Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., is called that because it usually allows retailers to go into the black. But this year, the early morning shopping frenzy turned deadly. A Walmart employee was trampled to death by New York shoppers who broke down the door before dawn, anxious to get into the store and get their hands on the sale merchandise.
The next day, the Dallas Morning News carried a short story providing analysis of why shoppers turned into killers.
* Fear of being unable to afford gifts drives shoppers to shop competitively
* The urge to snap up discounts can cause people to abandon their normal behavior
* When people are jostled in a crowd, their personal space is shattered, resulting in loss of individual judgment
* Individual identity can become erased, and one becomes part of the crowd
* People's frustration at things like linecutting and being denied access to a big sale flares into rage
Interesting suggestions, these psychological profiles. But something's missing.
Sin. And the nasty ugliness of unfettered flesh.
God has His own explanation:
Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. (James 4:1-3)
And perhaps the scariest part of that horrendous killer stampede at the Walmart is that every single one of us is equipped with the same nasty, ugly, unredeemable flesh. But for the grace of God, those shoppers could have been us.
Could have been me.
Which is why we all need a Savior.
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/black_friday_and_dark_hearts
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075