I love things.

It’s easy to tell.

Simply by looking at my Facebook photo albums, it’s obvious. I have more photos of my home design projects than I do people.

Pathetic, huh?

I treasure people and relationships. Really, I do.

But I also really like things. Home decor. New paint colors. Scarves. Shoes. Uniquely shaped Kleenex boxes. Anything packaged in a funky bottle or odd shape. I’ve been fascinated with things my entire life. Even though I work in marketing and know the logic behind cool packaging, I’ll still fall for the trickery and get absolutely giddy about a standout design {and of course, have to have it}. Successful shopping trips to Pier One, TJ Maxx and even Target make me unbelievably happy.

Temporarily.

That’s the key: buying new things will never fill the void in my soul for what I’m truly seeking. And that’s Him.

But is spending money on beautiful things sinful?

Yes and no.

Yes, I could be saving the money and giving it to people who desperately need the help. That would be the right thing do to, wouldn’t it?

But wait a sec, I’m not hurting anyone, right? Shopping is an innocent hobby {as long as my husband’s okay with my purchases, and yes, sometimes it takes some coaxing}. It keeps me happy and hopeful, and as long as I’m not forgetting that things are just things, then no harm is done by appreciating art.

I think it’s about balance:

1. Give to others first. {We fail at this. When you’re 22 and 23, it’s easy to think, ‘We’ll give back when we’re a bit more established.’ In fact, my alma meter continually calls asking for donations. My response is usually something like, “Someday…” and then I think to myself, ‘…someday when I’m not still paying back my school loans.’ Giving is a work in progress.}

2. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while. You’ll realize when you’ve overindulged and allowed things to become too important. {If you’ve ever felt terribly guilty about buying something, you’ve probably gone there. Or if it causes you to lie about how much you really spent, you’re there. I’ve been there. There isn’t fun.}

Know your limits. Think of others before yourself. Never admire the beauty of things more than His beautiful masterpiece.

Go ahead, get giddy about things. But fill your soul with joy from Him first. Then, the people around you. Then, if you must, things.

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