‘Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Leonor shared a house with Sonia, and their coexistence became impossible due to Sonia’s behavior. Her shopping patterns caused many problems. She had accumulated so many clothes, objects and belongings that several drawers and closets of the house were not enough to store them. The floor had become a storage area and it was difficult to move across the house. Sonia was not one who accumulated everything and did not throw anything. Her problem was shopping addiction. For example, if she was about to open a can and could not find the can opener, she had the perfect excuse to go and buy one, even if there were definitely several other can openers lost in the house. Once in the supermarket, Sonia would buy other items she considered «very useful and essential.» This compulsion brought her many troubles at work, in her finances, in her relationships and in the psychological areas of her life.
There are people who get hooked on shopping although not to the extreme limit as in the described situation. It is about a strong impulse toward the purchase of items perceived as very important (even if they are unnecessary). This activity becomes the main theme of their life, devoting much time and effort to planning, searching for sales in stores and online, comparing prices and qualities in order to purchase and to feel the satisfaction of doing so. The affected person is not aware of her situation until some stranger or someone from the family sets off alarm bells when they discover huge debts or piles of products that have never been used.
Today’s text captures the recommendation of Jesus to rectify our scale of values: life is really the most important. Even if it is true that we must feed and dress our body, food and the clothes are mere ways of preserving life. The gospel uses the word psuje to refer to life, the heavenly breath, the soul, the essence of our existence. Before taking the consumerism pathway, let us reflect on the importance of our life versus everything else that sustains it. Let us adopt the attitude recommended by the apostle Paul, «And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content» (l Tim. 6:8).