My husband went shopping with me the other day. He was just like a kid in a candy store. A kid who never ever wants to eat candy. Ever.
Still, I love it when Richie goes with me. If there’s an item that tickles my fancy, I just hold it up and ask him what he thinks. “If I say we can buy it, will we be any closer to going home?” I come home with more great stuff that way.
When I’m shopping alone, there’s almost always this annoying little voice of sensibility. “You don’t really need that necklace, you know.” Goofy voice. I try to reason with it. “Are you kidding me? This necklace is perfect for that new outfit. I don’t have anything that goes with that.” The voice usually comes back with something smug like, “If you remember, I told you not to buy that either.” Goofy, goofy voice.
Of course, I do know the voice well. It’s got weaknesses. I can usually shut it down when I pull out those four, most magical words: “But it’s on sale!”
A few weeks ago I was shopping alone when a cute top caught my eye. I think it may have winked at me. I stood there and watched as the top and that little voice started to rumble. “I’m on sale,” it said to the voice. The voice fired back in a condescending tone, “You’re purple, orange and yellow, for Pete’s sake.”
After a pretty heated battle, I sat in the dressing room and watched as the shirt viciously forced itself into my hands and justified it to the voice with, “I’m the only one AND I’m in her size. It’s a sign.” Wow, won the battle with force and sounded spiritual doing it. The top was good. Next thing I knew I was wearing it.
I was reading in the first chapter of Psalms a few days later and it occurred to me that it’s oh so similar with sin. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers” (Psalm 1:1).
First walking, then standing, then taking a seat. At first we’re just shopping, strolling past the wicked. Maybe we catch a glimpse of something on TV or hear something inappropriate at the office. Or maybe there’s a thought that unexpectedly winks its way into our minds. Suddenly we find ourselves standing and listening. We know we should move on, but we convince ourselves that giving in for a few minutes couldn’t hurt. The next thing we know, the sin is ours. We’re pulling up a chair, sitting down, getting comfortable with it. Wearing it.
We may try to convince ourselves we were taken by force, but we’ve actually made every choice along the way. We’ve chosen to buy the sin and to put it on.
There’s a way to stop the process. Keep on walking. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your face in His Word and you’ll find yourself walking in step with the Savior instead of walking “in step with the wicked.” The blessing we think we might find winking back at sin? The next verse tells us that blessing is reserved for the one “whose delight is in the law of the LORD,” (Psalm 1:2).
I get an extra little “keep on walking” lesson every time I wear that top. Yes, purple, yellow and orange. With a touch of leopard-print trim, no less. And don’t think for a second that voice doesn’t gloat.