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And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15 ESVAh, the holidays are here. Radio waves broadcast Christmas music and we start to see the trees, lights and other variety of decorations adorning our surroundings. This is a dangerous time of year for a girl like me. It's a constant struggle for me to be in stores shopping for others while not giving in to my own desire for another new black sweater, or a cute infinity scarf.
I'm a serious shop-a-holic. Really, I am...my heart starts to race, my blood pressure raises, and at times I have to actually walk away from the whole thing because I start to WANT everything.
I have to constantly remind myself that I have ENOUGH.
Nothing was better for my shopping issue than moving out west. Each item that I had required evaluation: is it worth moving, when was the last time I used it, will it get used in Nevada, and what importance has it served in my life? After throwing out several garbage cans worth of worn out things, donating several bags of clothes each week to Goodwill, holding a garage sale, and even having a dumpster in our driveway for 3 days, I STILL have PLENTY of things.
Ultimately, if our goal is to live in Heaven with Jesus, we need to realize that none of the "things" that we possess will get us there. As a matter of fact, Jesus tells us to LOSE our life so we may win it.
Here are some of my "best practices" for beating my covetousness:
- When I'm tempted to buy several things in a store, I will simply not buy anything. I tell myself that if I can't decide which of those things is MOST important, then none of them is really important.
- If I start to rationalize buying something because "it's a good deal" then I think about a non-profit organization who would really appreciate even the smallest donation. I don't necessarily always MAKE the donation, but it helps me remember that $5 can be a lot if it's multiplied over time.
- Sometimes I will play "if it's meant to be." For example, I'll say, "If that scarf goes on sale in the next week, then it's meant to be." The scarf MIGHT be on sale, but often times I forget about it, or, when I do remember to check on it, it's gone. So, it wasn't meant to be, and I still have $10.
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder that all the toys, clothes, appliances and electronics will not win us a spot in Heaven. You have GIVEN freely to us the greatest gift we could ever wish for. Salvation through your son, who came to earth in the form of a baby, lived and died as a man, and rose to Heaven as God. Help me to destroy my covetous heart so I may have a heart that reflects you. Amen.