Apparently doctors somewhere have officially classified shopaholism as a disease. So reported a friend in my French class during our journal parlé yesterday. They say that sufferers exhibit the same symptoms as, for example, alcoholics. Addiction, compulsion, life being destroyed... yes, it's easy to see why disease was used as a picture of sin and why sin is sometimes described as a disease. The old nature is addicted to sin, compelled by sin and destroys itself with sin.
In shopaholism, I'm told that it is not the items bought which are compelling - it's the feeling of significance and security in spending money - in buying. It's so easy - it even comes with its own amusing theme-tune (worth checking out!)
It's so easy - feeling significance and security on the basis of our bank balance or ability to buy Things. Yet it's Babel-like: we always find some way in which we seek to feel significance and security for ourselves without reference to the God who made us. God does keep warning us of this: it isn't healthy to seek significance and security for ourselves without reference to God. It's cursed. You could say, in fact, that it's a symptom of being diseased.
Of course, it's not as if we're unwillingly prey to illness. In rebellion we set ourselves up for it. In this instance we're clearly told,
"You shall not covet your neighbour's house;
you shall not covet your neighbour's wife,
or his male servant,
or his female servant,
or his ox, or his donkey,
or anything that is your neighbour's."
Why, all that repitition: you could almost make a song out of that!
Is our problem that we're so used to having money that we think we're free from coveting?
"All these commandments I have kept from my youth - I don't covet; I buy!"
There is grace: grace to look to God for salvation, significance and security. They don't sell that on ebay.
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