Surely I’m not the only one who shares this sentiment: I have a fierce affection for Target stores. I’d like to claim that it’s their healthy produce, or the crisp red and white color scheme, or the convenience to my house. And I do like those features.
But here’s the real draw: it’s the winning combination of fresh apples and trendy accessories. This is the one destination where my alleged grocery runs can involve browsing cute cardigans and hip home decor. The place is just plain easy on the eyes.
But here’s something else [*sigh*]: my love affair doesn’t do much for my heart’s desire to nurture generosity. Nope. If I’m honest, I have to admit that my little jaunts to the big, red bullseye have exactly the opposite effect. They infect me with the ever-dreaded “want” malady. If you’re not familiar with this ailment, you should know that its cousin is “envy,” and it commonly masquerade as “need”—especially in the heated moment when that cool pair of earrings is staring me down.
Must I go on? I think not.
I make this confession, because I’m beginning to recognize a nasty little lie I’ve been housing in my heart: I may say I want to pursue a life of generosity. I may even believe I want to. But as long as I’m feeding my tendency to want, I probably need to question whether I’m all the way, 100% committed to this thing called generosity.
There. I said it. And it hurt a little bit.
So, what now? Maybe God is prompting me to relinquish my Target excursions like an alcoholic gives up trips to the liquor store. I’m open to that possibility.
But as I try to discern what all this means for me, I must also recognize my twisted attraction to all things legalistic. After all, if I stop making trips to my favorite store, I can pat myself on the back and feel really, really good about myself. Probably not quite what God has in mind.
Plus, there’s always the Garnet Hill catalog, or amazon.com, or . . . . the possibilities are endless.
No, I think this realization has less to do with some kind of embargo and more to do with awareness.
Awareness of how so many things I encounter with my eyes
end up high-jacking my heart.
What’s the remedy? I’m still working on that one. For starters, though, I think I’ll skip the window-shopping and let my eyes linger on these truths.
Do not be shaped by this world;
be changed within by a new way of thinking. . . .
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—
and walking-around life—
and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture
that you fit into it without even thinking.
fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed
from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you,
and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you,
always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
God brings the best out of you,
develops well-formed maturity
The only source of light for the body is the eye.
If you look at people and want to help them,
you will be full of light.
If you open your eyes wide
your body fills up with light.
If you live squinty-eyed
your body is a dank cellar.
Your heart will be where your treasure is.
Any observations come to mind for you? I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I can use all the help I can get. So . . . . do share! J
For some additional feasting for the eyes and heart, don't forget to take a gander at some of these other wonderful blogs about the Proverbs 31 woman.