Lessons from a Clothes Shopping Fast

Distinguishing between needs and wants—and why it's important to our souls.

Another one of my favorite excuses was predicated on the stewardship of my chronically injured feet. Were I to accidentally come across some fantastic shoes, potentially therapeutic shoes, it might actually border on irresponsible not to buy them. I thought a deep lavender might be nice. Clearly, I could get creative with these excuses.

To top it off, preexisting fashion issues—with which I'd never before had a problem—began to feel entirely unmanageable. For example, I suddenly could not deal with the fact that my "granny panties" rode up my back a good four inches higher than my lone pair of plain blue jeans, the way they'd always done. Realizing there was nothing I could do about it, I eventually decided that the cost of discipleship, for me, included sporting unsightly undergarments.

Somehow, with Sarah's encouragement, I managed to press on. Thankfully, after a few months the rollercoaster ride of weird fantasies, bargaining, and angst finally gave way to acceptance.

Needs and Wants

Once I'd adjusted to the new way of living it actually did feel freeing, as Sarah had promised. I began to feel a joyful liberation as I passed by the stores where I used to shop. Specifically, I noticed that I was no longer driven by the desperate worry, What if they've got something fantastic in there right now, possibly lime green with cute white polka dots, that I don't even know about? I began to see how I'd acted like the proverbial Pavlovian dog, salivating and responding on cue, at the signal of each Target, Marshalls, and TJMaxx logo.

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Margot Starbuck

Margot Starbuck, award-winning writer and speaker, is a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary. A TCW regular contributor and columnist, Margot speaks regularly on discipleship, justice, and living love in the world God loves. Connect with Margot on Facebook, Twitter, or at MargotStarbuck.com.

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May 25

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