Putting a stop to retail therapy

Originally appeared on spirituality.com

People joke about retail therapy—buying things to make you happy. In fact there’s even a current movie about it called Confessions of a Shopaholic. But when you’re caught in the middle of that behavior, shopping compulsively for things you don’t need, it’s no joke.

I used to have a habit of buying things to make me feel good. I particularly used to do it when I was working in jobs I didn’t enjoy; jobs that I didn’t feel used my God-given talents. I justified my behavior by thinking, “If I have to work in this stupid job, at least I’m going to make earning money worthwhile by buying nice things.” The problem was, the “high” I felt from buying something nice never lasted, and was often replaced by guilt that I had overspent on unnecessary items. One time, this all came to a head, and I realized I wanted to pray about my actions.

This particular time, I’d been working in a job I didn’t like and went out on a mini shopping spree. Impulsively, I bought two really expensive short skirts and some leather boots. When I got home though, I realized the items I’d chosen were way too impractical and would add some big numbers to my credit card bill. Instead of feeling satisfied, the guilt set in. But this time, I was willing to admit I had a problem and that it needed to be solved. I turned to God in prayer. Intuitively, I knew I needed to learn that satisfaction comes from God and from expressing my God-given talents, and I also needed to understand what exactly those God-given talents were.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.