Daily Devotional for Monday April 21, 2003
Shopping can be an addiction
Shopping can be an addiction. I have dealt many times with addiction problems. Most think of those fighting addictions as people who are prowling around seedy adult sex shops late at night, meeting scary people who have sold out to satan and sell drugs, slipping into a neighborhood bar after work and having your "normal" 4-5 drinks before going home, just to mention a few. In past Devotionals, I have tried to help you understand that ANYTHING can be an addiction. One of the most common battles many fight daily is an addiction to food. But today, I want to expose another addiction that MANY of you are battling each day that is RARELY talked about, SHOPPING.
First, an addiction is something that consumes your life. It takes over and becomes your number one priority. It destroys your personal relationships. Worst of all, it destroys your relationship with God. Whenever you allow ANYTHING to take over your life to the point that it is interfering with your walk with God, when God is no longer your number one priority, IT IS A SIN. It is something that you must deal with immediately before it totally destroys your life.
Shopping is legal. It is not like doing cocaine which is not. Shopping is actually a necessary part of life, just like eating is. However, many have found their "escape" in shopping. Just like some will come home and have 2..3..4..5..6..drinks in the evening to "escape", many will shop to escape. One of the growing problems that I have had to deal with over these past 3 years is the number of people who are addicted to Home Shopping and other 24-hour TV shopping channels. I am NOT going to sit here and tell you that they are evil, that they equate with TV pornography, that is clearly NOT the case. However, for many, the addiction is just as real, and just as powerful, as someone who sits at home and watches pornography on their TV. It is an "escape" from reality.
The worst thing about 'escapes" is that they ALWAYS compound the problems that a person is "escaping" from. People spend thousands on pornography, catch sexually transmitted diseases, get caught and destroy their marriages and families. People who use drugs and alcohol not only pay a huge price by driving under the influence, but they are destroying their health, and numbing themselves from being able to function at 100% efficiency in their daily lives. Those who are addicted to shopping ultimately end up spending thousands, tens of thousand, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in many cases destroy their finances over this addiction. THERE IS ALWAYS A HUGE PRICE TO PAY WHEN YOU TRY TO "ESCAPE"!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Sadly, this is a HUGE issued that many are fighting today. Please know that I will be praying for you in this battle. Like ALL addiction battles, you can only attain victory after you first turn it over to the Lord. God will help you devise a battle plan, God will give you people that will walk through this with you to hold you accountable, and most of all, God will give you the strength each day to walk victoriously. This has been one of those silent issues that few will ever talk about, but it is time to pull back the curtain and expose this problem that many are fighting today. Above all, know that God loves you, and that God will lead you to victory when YOU are ready to fight this battle.
The key however is that first step. I don't care what your battle is. Whether it is with drugs, alcohol, sex, food, OR SHOPPING. The first step is for you to admit that you have a problem. Being addicted to shopping is no different than any other addiction. You have to admit that this is a problem in your life and ask God to help you get victory over it. Please know that I will be praying for you today. I will be praying that God will not only give you the courage to admit this problem in your life, but that you will allow Him to guide you to victory. Never forget, with God..ALL THINGS...are possible. Even victory over an addiction to shopping.
***GOD MAY BE SPEAKING TO YOU TODAY. THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE THAT YOU WILL EVER HEAR AT CHURCH, BUT YOU KNOW HOW DESTRUCTIVE IT IS IN YOUR LIFE. ACCEPT THAT GOD IS SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO YOU,TELLING YOU THAT THESE ARE WORDS OF LOVE, THAT HE KNOWS THE PAIN YOU ARE IN OVER THIS ISSUE. TODAY, NOW, IS THE TIME TO GO TO YOUR KNEES, ASK HIS FORGIVENESS, AND GET SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING VICTORY OVER THIS PROBLEM IN YOUR LIFE. GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH, AND I WILL BE STANDING WITH YOU IN PRAYER. MAY YOU BE FREE OF THIS BONDAGE IN YOUR LIFE, IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ Bill Keller