Can shopping really honor God?

I recently decided to join the scrapbooking craze. Without any supplies or materials, I visited one of our local stores to stock-up on a few “necessary” items. I found the scrapbooking section and immediately became lost in the vast selection of books, tools, papers, adhesives, stickers, stamps, and all of the many other accessory items available for purchase. I soon realized that I was way in over my head, so I placed a few “emergency calls” to a few girlfriends to seek their counsel on the best book to buy, the best binding, the best types of paper, etc. (Thank the good Lord for cell phones!)

One hundred dollars later, I walked out of that store and recognized a familiar pressure plaguing my conscience. “Did I really just spend that much money on a hobby? Was that really the best use of the money the Lord has entrusted to me and my husband? Speaking of my husband, despite his constant loving support of my decisions, would he really agree that the expense was worth it in this case?” These questions were flooding my mind as I placed my full plastic bags into the trunk of my car. “Sure, I wanted to preserve our precious family memories for generations, but was this the most economical way to go about it?” As I pulled out of the parking lot, my conscience continued to plague me. Recognizing that something must be wrong, I took a moment to search my heart before the Lord as I sat at a red light: “Lord, I confess that I do not have a clear conscience about the way that I spent your money. But, I confess that as I stand before you, I don’t exactly know the reason my conscience is bothering me. Is it really just an issue of stewardship, or is there something else there? Please show me the sinfulness of my heart so that I can confess it before you and seek your grace to repent of it.”

By the time the light turned green, it dawned on me: “I was not trusting in the Lord!” I stocked-up on a couple of scrapbooking books because I wanted to be sure to have enough on-hand in case I were to run out of room in the first book. I had purchased so many accessory items because I was afraid that I might not have the opportunity to do so again for a while. See, I was not trusting the Lord to provide for me. I needed to provide these things for myself. My sin (bad stewardship of the Lord’s money entrusted to me) in this situation was driven by fear, which is the case in most sinful situations. I was afraid that the Lord would not provide these things for me; therefore, I had to get them myself. I was not acknowledging the Lord’s character or proven history faithfulness. I overspent on these items because in my heart I had de-throned God as King and sovereign Ruler over my life, and placed myself there for a time. My well-being, my prosperity, my providence needed to come from my own hand because there was no one else of higher authority who would oversee these things for me. This also reveals my affection for the things of the world, as by the end of my shopping experience, I felt as though I had to have all of those scrapbooking things.

By God’s grace, I was still close enough to the shopping center to turn my car around, go back inside, and return most of the items for a full refund. I was so grateful for the Lord’s loving lesson and for the opportunity to not only see my sin and confess it, but also for the grace to repent as well.

Can shopping really honor God? Well, as I learned, it can certainly dishonor God if the driving motivation for our purchases is anything other than thanksgiving; if we are not prudent in our purchasing options or become poor stewards of the money God has entrusted to us; and if we are more consumed with the things of this world than with pleasing God, then shopping can certainly dishonor God. May God grant us all the grace to live for His glory in ALL areas of life … even when shopping!

Advertisements

About Elizabeth

I am a sinner, saved by grace striving to increase in the knowledge of my Savior and His precious Word each day. The reader should know that there are a few presuppositions with which I approach this blog: 1) I believe in the biblical gospel, which basically purports that all mankind is born under the curse of sin (due to the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden). Therefore, man is separated from God and can have no relationship with God because He is perfectly holy, not even able to look upon sin. Unfortunately, God is also perfectly just and must not only separate Himself from sin, but must also punish it. In order to reconcile man to Himself, God, the Father, sent God, the Son, down to earth to live as a man and take our sins upon Himself on the cross. While on the cross, God, the Son, bore the full weight of the wrath of God, the Father, against our sins in order that we who believe in Him might be set free from the curse of our sin. God, the Son, Jesus Christ, died as a propitiation for our sin in order to appease God, the Father's, holy and just character, redeem us from sin, and reconcile those who believe in this gospel to God, the Father. 2) I am primarily writing to those who already believe in this biblical gospel. In other words, this blog is not focused on evangelizing the lost, but edifying believers. 3) I believe that the Christian Bible is the very word of God. Therefore, it is completely inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative in the life of a believer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Can shopping really honor God?

  1. Keara says:

    Hey! What a great blog. I totally know what you mean. Sometimes when I’m shopping and I find myself getting carried away – I get a little “twinge” from the Holy Spirit. I’m SO thankful for that! It makes me stop and pray and ask the Lord if I really need all those things I just picked out. It seems like a little thing, but it is so important to be faithful stewards in the way we spend our money. 🙂

  2. STL Dad says:

    Wow, Elizabeth! I praise the Lord for your tender conscience and willingness to submit to the Lord’s leading in your life. May you always, by His grace, walk in such reliance upon His leading. You set a great example for many to emulate, but most importantly honor the Lord with your obedience!

    Much love to you and Geoff,

    STL Dad

  3. St. Louis Mom says:

    Thank you Elizabeth, for this very open and honest testimony of God’s grace in your life! What a lesson for all of us and an admonition for us to constantly seek God’s will and His presence in EVERYTHING we do!
    Love ya!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hey Girl,

    Yeah, its funny how something so seemingly insignificant (like shopping for scrapbooks) can present an opportunity for growth. I was totally convicted. But the Lord sure used that opportunity to remind me of the fact that there is no area of my life too insignificant or too small to merit my full attention and devotion to Him. 🙂

    Thanks again for celebrating Geoff’s birthday with us today! He was so excited to see you & your hubby there 🙂 It really meant a lot to us both!

    Love, In Christ,

    Elizabeth

  5. Elizabeth says:

    STL Dad,

    Thank you for your encouraging words! I echo your prayer: May I always, by His grace, walk in such reliance upon His leading. Amen.

    Love Ya,

    El

  6. Elizabeth says:

    STL Mom,

    It is humbling to share sin with others. But if my stumbling block can become someone else’s stepping stone, then it is totally worth it!

    Thanks for stopping by the ol’ blog 😉

    Love Ya,

    El

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s