Sunday, April 10, 2011
There's a fine line between couponing/stockpiling and hoarding. I think I've crossed that line. The difference is subtle...one is based in wisdom, and the other in fear. A few weeks ago our pastor shared about how when there's a sale on diet soda, you can hardly pull into his parents' garage because of the stockpile. I laughed and turned to my friend Angie next to me and said, "I do that!" -- but it was like the Holy Spirit stopped me dead in my tracks right then with a one-word question: Why? I sat there thinking, really thinking about why I stock up like I do. Yes, I think it's wise to purchase things when they're on sale--even Biblical! It is a contribution to my family to take the time to research and plan--then purchase. I have saved us many, many a dollar by doing this. And I wish there was no other motivation in doing so, but there is. I am afraid. I stockpile (hoard) because I'm afraid. I worry about something unforeseen happening that could cost one or both of our incomes. This downward turn in the economy over the last few years has left me wide-eyed. I know it's happened to others who never saw it coming--what if we didn't have enough to buy groceries? And so I buy when it's cheap--nothing wrong with that. Unless you're doing it because maybe you don't 100% trust God to provide if the unexpected happens. And that's where I live. My refrigerator is full. My pantry is full. My freezer is full. It's not like we live with mountains of boxes of granola bars and pasta or anything, but I know what I'm doing. I'm hoarding. Fear-and-doubt-based hoarding. This past week I read "Crazy Love" and this passage jumped out at me: "Lukewarm people do not live by faith--their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens--that's what savings accounts are for. They don't depend on God on a daily basis--their refrigerators are full and they have their health." Again, nothing wrong with saving or storing up or couponing and shopping wisely. There's actually all kinds of right about doing it this way. It becomes a problem when these things become substitutes for actually having to trust God. And so the next time I load up my shopping cart with spaghetti sauce for 88 cents or boxes of organic mac and cheese for 49 cents a box, I will take an honest look at what's driving it. Rather than being motivated by a million "What if..." scenarios, I want to remember that the LORD is the bread of life, the One who provided daily manna for His people, and the One who sees what is really going on in my heart. Father, I want to get down to my last box of cereal without panic. I want to pass up sale items that I already have at home, about to burst out of my pantry. More than anything I want to trust You. Strengthen me to trust You for all things! I don't want to be a hoarder--I want to have open hands. I want to walk by faith and trust the Giver of my daily bread.
Posted by Thea Nelson at 3:09 PM