I have a confession to make.
My name is January, and I am a shopaholic. I confess that at times I crave a good sale, a new pair of shoes, and a designer dud at a thrift store price. I have even found myself justifying my purchases to God…because if I am shopping at Goodwill, it’s better than paying full price at a fancy department store, right?
Certainly there is nothing wrong with a little Goodwill shopping. I love thrift shopping. It gives me pleasure when I dig through racks of clothes to score a high end piece of apparel for less than 4 bucks. That’s golden!
But, it’s when shopping becomes my go to therapy that we start to have a problem.
It’s when I seek the thrill of finding a great new outfit or deal after a hard day to put me in a better mood instead of God that we start to have a problem.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 even warns of the despair one can feel when emphasis is placed on possessions and worldly riches on Earth: But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
And I know all to well what kind of ruin and despair using shopping as a cure-all can cause. It causes disagreements in the home over budgets and finances. It caused this same girl at 23 years old to have to claim bankruptcy due to credit card debt (all from shopping), and we won’t even start with the space issue we have in our closets, attic, and laundry bins because of my cravings to shop.
What’s worse? It causes a rift between me and God.
Looking at Psalm 84:2 this week, God opened my eyes to just how much more I could be seeking and yearning for Him.
My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord. Yet, so often the only courts I yearn for are the ones found inside a mall.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yet, my heart and my flesh cry out at the flash of sale alerts, clearance racks, and fancy new clothes.
Do I think about shopping? Yes. Has it consumed my life more than God? If my closet is any proof-most certainly!
So, Monday in an effort to feel empowered and to cleanse my soul of the craving for shopping, I also cleansed my email inbox of sales alerts, fashion articles, and anything else that may tempt my flesh into visiting the courts of the mall instead of the courts of the Lord.
This may seem a tad overzealous, yes-but I want my passion and desire to burn for Christ, not for the latest fashion trend at the shopping mall, or the newest treasure at Goodwill. I want Christ to use my fashion sense to do His will in whatever way he sees fit, not by adding more stuff to my closet. I want to draw closer to Him, and not to the ladies in the dress department at Belk.
Am I saying that I will never seek out another clearance rack or peruse another Goodwill on a Friday morning? No. But what I am saying is that I will look to Him to give me the desires of my heart before I hit the mall.
I will seek His courts above before I head to the courts of the mall.
I will seek Him for the support and solace I need before I use shopping to fill these empty spaces and build me up.
I will seek to crave Him, His wisdom, His love before I surrender to the craving of hunting for the latest deal at the store.
I will fill the closets of my heart with more of Him, instead of filling the closets of my home with more clothes.