It really astounds me what people are willing to pay for fashion. I’m not even talking about the folks who buy Gucci and Versace. In my mind, that is just ridiculous and not even an option. I’m referring to the folks who walk into a nice store such as Dilliard’s or Ann Taylor and pay $60 to $90 for a simple shirt.

What message does this send to our children or to those less fortunate than us?

If Christians are to be good stewards of money, and if what we have on Earth is temporary, why would we spend so much money on clothes and accessories? We can’t take these things to heaven with us, and they surely don’t further the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:19-21 says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV)

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve paid more than $20 for a shirt in years. Most probably cost between $5 and $15, yet I buy quality clothes. How? I shop clearance sales at Dilliard’s and Ann Taylor Loft, I go to stores like Stein Mart, TJ Maxx and Ross, and I often shop thrift.

Interestingly, I usually get more compliments on my thrift or clearance clothing than I do anything else I wear.

I had a friend who recently told me that I always look “so put together.” I had to laugh. The outfit I was wearing, including shoes and jewelry, cost less than $35. Really.

When we only spend a small percentage of our money on what we wear, that leaves a much larger percentage that can be used to do the Lord’s work. I know that when I reach the pearly gates I don’t want to tell God, “I’m sorry I didn’t do more to serve your people, but I really looked nice while I was on Earth.”

Some of my friends go to garage sales at nice homes and find quality, barely worn items for dirt cheap. They accessorize and always look fantastic.

I know some people say they hate sorting through clothes to find a treasure. Others say they would never wear clothing that had been worn by someone else. I have to ask why. That seems so snobby, especially when most of us own washing machines.

In God’s eyes, no one is too good to wear hand-me-downs or to shop at stores that are not considered posh.

I was sitting in a meeting a couple of weeks ago when I heard a lady say, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in Wal-Mart. How embarrassing!”

It took everything in me not to say something to her. What is embarrassing about shopping in Wal-Mart? Although I don’t often buy clothes there because some of the items haven’t lasted as long as other brands, I have been known to buy swimsuits, T-shirts and pajamas there. Why wouldn’t I?

Residents of the United States forget that even those who are considered lower-middle-class citizens are more wealthy than 85 percent of the world. When people are living in poverty and wearing the same clothing every day, what would God say about our desire to dress fashionably?

At one time, I was a shopaholic. I didn’t pay too much for clothing, but I binge shopped. Then I became convicted about my priorities. How can I possibly desire more clothes when my closet is overflowing and people around the world have absolutely nothing to their name? How selfish of me!

I gave many of my clothes to Goodwill and vowed that I wouldn’t allow myself to spend frivolously.

For some people, clothes may not be the problem. Maybe you like gadgets or the newest technology. Maybe you love cars. Maybe you enjoy buying upgrades or decor for your home.

Regardless, the message is the same. We can’t take this “stuff” with us to heaven. What we can take with us are the deeds we do for others.

In Matthew 19:21 we are told what Jesus commanded the rich young ruler: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’” (NKJV)

Once we decide to be content with a reliable vehicle that gets us from point A to point B, knowing that most of the world can’t afford a car, we can take the money we would have invested in that new sport-utility vehicle and have a church built overseas.

Once we stop shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue and humble ourselves to purchase clothing elsewhere, we will be able to buy food or Bibles for children who need physical and spiritual nourishment.

Once we stop thinking of ourselves and start thinking about a world in need, we will begin bearing fruit for God. Then when we reach the pearly gates, we will hear, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” (Matthew 25:21, NKJV)

Misty Shultz can be reached at

817-645-2441, ext. 2336, or She holds a

Master of Arts in marriage and family counseling and a Master of Arts in Christian education. She speaks at

seminars and retreats for women and families, leads Bible studies and writes curricula for women’s ministries.

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