I have been vulnerable here multiple times. I’ve written about sexual abuse, martial struggles, mental health, questioning of my faith, but this article… I have been hesitant in the past while sharing some of my dark pieces but this is a whole other level. God has been pushing me to write it and I have never dug my heels in as hard as now. I know it’s my Spirit warring with my flesh. Because if I’m being honest with myself; this is a sin that I don’t want to give up.
And I’m scared.
I’m scared that I will fall into this sin and while I’m wallowing in it’s muck, someone sees me and falls into it too.
I don’t want to be a stumblingblock.
But every addict needs accountability, and the first step to healing is admission.
But my addiction is easily hidden.
I don’t stumble as I walk down the sidewalk or carry the sweet stench of alcohol on my breath. My addiction doesn’t have billboards plastering recovery help lines in bold black numbers. If the police were to search me or my things, they wouldn’t find anything alarming. My addiction doesn’t stir whispers up as I walk into a room. My addiction isn’t visible to the naked eye like the protruding bones of someone struggling with bulimia or the darkened circles under the eyes from staring at a computer screen all night, flashing naked bodies of strangers.
And that’s why my addiction is so bad, because to the world, it’s not bad.
The world jokes about it.
Isn’t that how Satan likes it though, to make sin seem silly so people are blind to the magnitude of consequences tied to it?
Addictive behaviors run in my family. My parents were addicts and alcoholics. My Grandfather died from cirrhosis of the liver when my dad was just five. My Grandmother would spend herself into oblivion, forcing my grandfather to work long hours away from my mom and her siblings.
Unfortunately, it seems I inherited the sins of my grandmother.
There is a satisfaction that comes from placing items in my cart, virtual or not. Euphoria at the swiping or typing in of my card. Boxes sitting on my porch or packages crammed into my mailbox make my heart leap…
And my stomach drop.
I did it again.
I do good for awhile.
Then I binge.
Then I feel nauseous, embarrassed, and shameful.
So I lie.
I tear off tags and hang clothes up as if they’ve been there for months.
I break boxes down and shove them to the bottom of the garbage bag.
I throw away receipts.
I hide statements.
I bust my tail to pay off the bill and swear to myself, “That’s it. That’s the LAST time.”
And I do good for awhile.
But then I find two twenties while cleaning out my center console in my truck and instead of saving it, I lie like a junkie and tell my husband, “I need to go for a drive so I can have a moment of peace and quiet.”
But I go to the nearest chain store or boutique and get my fix.
And the vicious cycle begins again.
You may be thinking; that’s not really harmful.
The alcoholic who eventually killed someone while drinking and driving didn’t think that first drink was either.
The junkie who gave her kids up for drugs didn’t think that first, small hit was either.
The bulimic twenty year old who withered away to nothing and now her family mourns, didn’t think that first purge was either.
You may be saying, “that’s a bit dramatic.”
Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. -James 1:15
How is buying nice things for yourself and others sinful?
But when you have to lie, hide, or feel convicted after shopping; it is.
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.-1 Corinthians 10:31
Are your spending habits glorifying to God?
God isn’t against us having nice things, but when those nice things become as a god to us…
When we spend the majority of our time and thoughts pursuing them; He says,
Do not lay up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust cannot destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.-Matthew 6:19-21
I don’t want people to remember me for the cute clothes, bought from man, that my family donned.
I want to be remembered for the heavenly robe of righteousness given to me by a gracious, merciful Savior.