I did it again.
I bought a dress. I couldn’t help it. It was so cheap.
I didn’t need it.
Me and dresses, we have this dalliance going on for quite some time. They are not to disturb me and steal my attention. They are to look bland and utterly ugly in their little corner at the store while I go buy my groceries. Yet there they are, just a few steps away from where the vegetables are, beckoning me with their pretty colors, adorable laces, and almost insignificant details visible only to me.
They never stop looking so bright and interesting. I have to muster all control to ignore them entirely.
Once in a while, I’d succeed without even looking at one dress. Occasionally, I’d fail and try a dress or two. Other times, I’d fail with honors and arrive home with a dress in my bag of groceries.
Tonight, I failed with honors. I brought dinner home with a dress in the bag. I know what you’re thinking—there is nothing wrong with buying a dress or two. I agree with you.
Except, my closet disagrees.
Not too long ago, I had to pack and fit all that I owned in two suitcases. It doesn’t sound difficult, but when I was doing it, I felt the demand of having to choose among the items I have come to treasure. I had to decide what to take and what not to take with me. I felt God’s prompting in my heart to let go of my earthly possessions.
However, once again, I am accumulating too much—a number of those sparkling, attractive dresses, a few of those darling shoes. In just a few years, I have already acquired exceedingly more than I actually need.
Thinking about the dress I just bought, I remembered what I wrote when God showed me the spiritual stronghold of “my stuff” that I had allowed to take a space in my heart.
“ . . . as we add one more item to our stack of toys, we bind ourselves tighter to this temporary world, making it difficult for us to move to where God wants us to be. Somehow as we have more possessions, we become trapped in where we are. Our possessions now possess us. We make decisions based on what we bought or the items we have acquired—our cars, houses, clothes, and lifestyle. I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying things or living comfortably. The danger lies when our hearts are not in the right place—when we let things or comfort cast a shadow on what God has for us.” (June 2011)
Those were my own words, yet I seem to have forgotten to follow my own advice. I have been tightly binding myself to this world as I add more unnecessary paraphernalia in my life. I need to back up, take stock, and surrender my “earthly treasures” to God.
So, me and dresses. I think we need to stop this dalliance that’s been going on between us. I have to sever this connection we have and release myself from this bind.
Come, Holy Spirit, take over the space it took in my heart.
It doesn’t translate to not buying any dress forever. However, it does mean that I will have to exercise self-control and wisdom in making God-honoring decisions when I purchase dresses—when I purchase anything.
Buying is normal; we all do it on a regular basis. No harm done, and there isn’t, until it becomes a heart matter that robs us of our true joy and satisfaction in Christ.
God paid dearly for our freedom, and we ought not allow our temporary possessions to enslave us. God forbid that I lose my opportunity to be a part of what He is doing in the world because I am imprisoned in my own world of belongings and comforts.
Photo credit: delpentax / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)