And He said to them, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'
Luke 12:15 (NKJV)
The ancient city of Nineveh was a famous trade center. Of it God said, 'You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of Heaven' (Nahum 3:16). How many more buying opportunities do we have today?
But before we buy we must shop. Some of us are surface shoppers, making quick decisions and paying a higher price--because we don't like to look around. Others elevate shopping from a necessity to a hobby. But a hobby can become a compulsion.
True enough, it's hard to avoid the shopping sizzle. Hit with a constant barrage of catalogues, ads, and commercials, the most level-headed citizens can be blind-sided by the lure of the loot: a.k.a. temptations.
Jesus warned us, from the Lord's Prayer to His final instructions in Gethsemane: 'Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak' (Mark 14:38). Peter put it this way: 'By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words' (2 Peter 2:3).
But the first One to spell it out was God. He carved it in stone first and called it Commandment #10: 'You shall not covet' (Exodus 20:17). What is recreational shopping but practice in coveting? Hear this unpopular news: coveting is lawlessness.
'The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness' (Matthew 13:41). Because instead of lawlessness, we are to 'Practice righteousness' (1 John 3:10).
Therefore, we must turn a blind eye to ads and back out of recreational shopping--thereby eschewing the commonality of pandemic purchasing, 'For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it' (Matthew 7:13).
We don't need to shop around. We know 'The way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6). Our doors are closed to new offers. We are sold out to Jesus.