Christmas Shopping: A Budget Buster
Wendy Pope

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

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’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.

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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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.. I haven't begun to
plan the Christmas activities and budget, Grat idea ask God to sethe budget and what gifts He would purchase!!! thanks

Anonymous Anonymous said...

did that. and still charged $100 more. started out great but as the day came to a close (as the only day without my children) i paid whatever just to finish and go home. advice? leave the credit card at home to flee from temptation. only by what is on your list. no regular items on your weekly grocery list to "save time", no "i finally found it gotta have it". i would have made it except for those things. and most of all, look for Him in everyone and everything around you. He is there. pray and seek His guidance. many blessings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciated your honesty. I too, am a recovering shop-aholic. I have been blessed with some God-given bargins and that is exactly the way I view them. I think the last minute gifts are the ones that tend to get me in trouble. The deals are "too good to pass up" and so I buy things you hadn't intended to buy.
The only way I have found to curb the shopping "dilema" is to stay out of the stores.
I hadn't really thought a lot about asking God to "heal" me. I will be turning this over to Him.

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