I have a serious problem with buying things I can't afford or don't need. I guess I'm a compulsive shopper, and I just can't get it under control. My husband gets very upset when the credit card bills come in and says I just need more will power, but nothing seems to work. Can God help me? — Mrs. M.W.
God not only can help you with this problem; He wants to help you. He loves you, and He doesn't want you to be enslaved by anything that will keep you from experiencing the joy and peace He wants us to have.
Have you ever asked yourself why this problem has such a grip on you?
Elsewhere in your letter, you mention how you talk yourself into buying things you don't really need -- telling yourself how cute your granddaughter will look in this new outfit, for example, or persuading yourself how handy that new kitchen gadget will be. But you're only deceiving yourself; these thoughts should be like alarm bells, warning you of danger ahead.
I suspect the real problem, however, is much deeper. Perhaps shopping gives you a sense of power; perhaps it gives you pleasure by making you forget the realities of life; perhaps you feel an inner need to impress people. Whatever the reason, ask God to show it to you -- and then deal with it. Take practical steps also -- destroy your credit cards, or ask your husband to lock them up.
Most of all, submit your whole life -- including this problem -- to Jesus Christ. When we commit our lives to Him, we begin to see what's really important and we want to please Him in all we do. The Bible says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have" (Hebrews 13:5).