SHOPPING GOT YOU DOWN?
Have you ever gone shopping and ended up depressed? So many nice things, so many items you wish you had! Maybe you had twenty dollars for food, but then you saw a top you wanted to buy... oh the agony! What do you do?
As a mom of seven, I too have struggled with that overwhelming feeling that comes with what seems like "not enough". Diapers take precedent over shoes, bananas take first place over books to read. I know the feeling of having to choose what is a "have to have vs. a want to have" very well. Today though, I hope to help free you of this overwhelming burden of remorseful shopping, with the revelation that all those beautiful, cool, hip and up-to-date things on the store shelves belong to God, and in turn as God's children... they belong to YOU!
Instead of going shopping and thinking you "can't" let's begin retraining our minds to the fact that wherever you go when you shop - you have just entered "God's Pantry".
SHOPPING GOD'S WAY - YOUR PANTRY: A LESSON
When you are home and you need to eat, whether you keep your food in a pantry a cupboard or on a counter, what do you do? You get food and eat it! There is no struggle with how to pay for it or what you should buy, you just take and eat. Why is this? It is because it belongs to YOU and you have already paid for it. The medium of exchange has already taken place.
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalm 24:1
Did you know that scripture says that everything in this earth belongs to the Lord? One day as I was shopping, and thinking of how little I had to spend, the thought occurred to me that EVERYTHING means EVERYTHING. Even though the store owners have stuff on display, it all belongs to my God and that means as a child of God, it is mine too. With this revelation, a sigh of relief came over me as I realized if I treated the store like an extension of my own pantry at home, than going in to the store in order to get only what I needed was a lot easier and made me a happier shopper! There was no pressure to have it ALL, just the comforting knowledge that my "extended pantry" was open all night long, and if I needed butter (because I was out at home) I could go get more, any time I needed to.
THE PROBLEM : "A Kid in a Candy Store"
Most people when they shop, think in terms of "If I DON'T get it NOW, I will NEVER GET IT!" and like Wilma and Betty Rubble from the cartoon The Flintstones run through the stores shouting "CHARGGGGEEEE ITTTTT!" Half crazed they pull things off the shelf they don't need, they spend above their means, and they put all the power of their pocket books in the hands of the merchandisers. If this is like you... my question is... is that how you handle your pantry at home? When you go to your cupboard do you say "OH MY GOSH!!" and start pulling rice and beans, and Captain Crunch, and frosting off the shelf and then carry it all to the counter? NO!
The grocery store should be treated the SAME way! It is NOT a free-for-all! It is an extension of what already belongs to you through Christ, and in this freedom, I suggest you go to the store only looking for only what you need, make a grocery list and KNOW the store isn't closing ANYTIME soon, and all the things you desire will one day come to you as scripture so plainly tells us:
"And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:19 AMPAn article from Forbes Magazine states:
"The majority of the 79 million U.S. Millennials are either unemployed, underpaid, or weighed down with student loans. One in four Millennials, for instance, has more debt than savings, according to Bankrate.com. Some 94% of college students currently graduate with debt. The current unemployment rate among workers ages 20-24 is 13%, compared to 8% for older workers, according to the most recent economic data. At the same time, Millennial college students (without full-time jobs) spend $784 a month on discretionary expenses, especially food and entertainment, according to the Mooslyvania marketing agency. Millennials are the largest demographic purchasing new technological gadgets and fashion apparel. And their spending on jewelry increased 27% in 2011, according to American Express Business Insights. They even start riots at outside retail malls over $200 limited-edition Air Jordan sneakers." Why Millennials Are Spending More Than They Earn, And Parents Are Footing The Bill Forbes 5/18/2012
It is in my opinion that both crazy and despondent shopping come from an insecurity which has led the shopper to assume there is no God as an ultimate supplier of needs.
SHOPLIFTING IS A CRIME: IT'S AGAINST GOD'S LAW
Why then do we need "money"? In spitural terms we don't. What we need as children of God is FAITH. On this earth however, money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. In God's Kingdom though there is no place for money. After all, you can't take it with you when you are gone.
What we children of God need is FAITH. As Christians, we know it is WRONG to steal, "Thou shalt not steal" Exodus 20:15, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Eph. 4:28. We know that when we go to "God's Pantry" aka Target, Walmart, Safeway... etc. We can't just take what we need and walk out. We must exchange something that we have (MONEY) for something that we need (STUFF). But have you ever considered that what we HAVE really isn't "MONEY" at all? What we have is FAITH!
It takes FAITH to wake up and go to work. It takes FAITH to babysit. It takes FAITH to exchange hours for dollars. Your pocket book is a DIRECT REFLECTION OF HOW MUCH FAITH YOU HAVE. Do you have faith enough to be a tycoon? Or is your faith only big enough to borrow? Only you can say.
The more FAITH you exercise in your God given abilities, how good God is, how much He desires for you to succeed, the more money you will have period. If money isn't that important to you - well then, you will only be able to take care of you. That is God's promise. If however you desire to help others, you WILL HAVE to exercise your faith because not even God's Pantry gives stuff away for free - you have to exchange some faith in order to receive!
Next time you go shopping, TAKE A DEEP BREATH and realize that EVERYTHING belongs to God and you can have it all... it is just going to take FAITH in order to get it!*
Have an awesome day! As an encouraging community, we always welcome your comments!
*Need more FAITH? Try reading your BIBLE! Build those verses into your subconscious mind that tell you what all God has done for you, you can start out by reading the Book of John. Also, Proverbs is a great book with a lot of financial wisdom, and Philippians covers greatly our inheritance in HIM.
Jessica Heilman is the Founder of Wholehearted Ministries and is also mom to The Cookie Boys. Jessica has been a student of Psychology, Philosophy and Theology for nearly 25 years. Jessica founded WHM in 2008 while in Bible College. Jessica and her husband Jeff have been married 21 years. Jeff and Jessica live in the Silicon Valley with their seven children and their dog Kennedy. This article was originally published via Wholehearted Ministries Aug 7, 2012.