Have you ever noticed that when you have either no desire to purchase anything or no time and money that you find all kinds of stuff at the mall? Today I went shopping with the intentions of purchasing something with my Christmas money and found absolutely nothing. The same is true of the day after Christmas when I ventured into the vast landscapes of the Houston metro area malls and stores. Frustrated, I dug deep to find some spiritual application to this phenomenon. Sure there were a few cute tops and possibly some bottoms and dresses that could pass inspection. Certainly a couple purses jumped out at me and some shoes were shiny on the racks and in their boxes, however, none of these items met both the joy and financial factors. Since I am frugal both intentionally and of necessity, items have to pass inspection. They either need to bring a lot of joy to my life to justify the money spent, or they need to be really cheap and too good of a bargain to pass up. None of of the more expensive items were deemed life changing and all of the cheap clothes looked cheap and picked over.

Since I am a psychologist and follower of Jesus, I often find meaning in bizarre places. Bathroom stalls can bring forth epiphanies and sometimes a dumpster isn’t just for trash. I reached the realization in the mall today that my life can sometimes be compared to my shopping trips. I have a zest and zeal for both life and shopping. I love living and try to capture each day to the fullest, just as I love the hustle and bustle of the marketplace. How often does my life and spirituality measure up to my shopping trips? Am I lacking both joy and finances? A shopping trip for me is not complete without the marriage of the “wow” factor and price factor. Am I selling my life with Christ short because I refuse to allow my joy to be tied with my finances?

Don’t be spiritually bankrupt. Don’t walk out of God’s marketplace without your bags full. The psalmist David said it best when he penned the words “my cup runneth over”. Many times the blessings of God are not in a financial form but are bagged in goodness and mercy. However, we can’t get these intangible blessings without opening first our hearts and secondly our pocketbooks to the kingdom. Luke 12:34 (For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.)

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