December 4, 2007

 

Christmas Shopping: A Budget Buster

By Wendy Pope

 

She sees that her trading is profitable."
Proverbs 31:18a (NIV)

         

Devotion:

I am a former shopping addict. Praise God I am free from the chains that bound me to the stores! I am a recovering shop-a-holic and pleased to share my freedom with anyone who will listen.

 

Notice I used the word recovering. As with any addict of any addiction, I could fall off the shopping cart at any time. Remaining free from my previous addiction is particularly challenging during the holiday shopping season. Christmas is the season for giving special gifts for those you love. I love giving gifts. I love shopping and choosing the perfect gifts. What I don't love is the bill that comes after the joy of the season has passed.

 

To break free from my shopping addiction, I put myself on a cash-only budget. This was very tough. Did I say it was very tough? I meant to say, extremely and profoundly challenging. But God is Sovereign and what He calls us to do; He equips us to do, even during the holiday shopping season.

 

My husband determined the budget. He handed me cash and said not to spend more than this. When I saw the amount, I was speechless. How was I supposed to purchase the gifts I needed with this amount of money? I began to pray. I knew God would give me the strength to obey.

 

God did not fail me. There were many things I wanted but knew I should not get. Yet God gave me the supernatural gift of self-discipline (2 Timothy 2:7) to say “no.” He always equips us to do what He calls us to do. Oh, and He provided a few bargains! I believe it was His sweet way of giving me favor for spending my resources wisely. Praise you Lord!

 

Friend, ask God to give you a budget. Ask Him to help you make your gift list. When you ask, He will answer.

 

Dear Lord, I want to be a good steward of all that You have entrusted to me: time, talents, and money. Christmas shopping can be difficult. Help me prepare the list and provide me with the means to purchase what You want to purchase. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

 

God's Purpose for Every Woman by Various P31 Speakers and Authors

 

Confessions of a Recovering Shop-a-holic devotion by Wendy Pope

 

Visit Wendy Pope’s Blog

 

Listen to Today’s Radio Show for Ideas on having a Christmas Without Financial Crisis

 

Application Steps: 

Don't eat dinner out the weeks before Christmas. Save the money you would have spent. Cut out any unnecessary spending (i.e. movies, stops by the coffee shop). Set aside the money you saved so you are ready when you go shopping.

 

Reflections: 

What is the most difficult thing about holiday shopping for me?

 

What stores should I avoid during this season?

 

Am I willing to shop at less expensive stores? If not, why?

 

Am I more concerned about the amount I spend on a gift, rather than the simplicity of the meaning behind what I give?

 

Power Verses:

Proverbs 13:11, "Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow." (NIV)

 

Ecclesiastes 5:10,"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." (NIV)

 

Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."



 

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