Confessions of a Thrift Shop Junkie

OK, I admit it. I love a good thrift store! I’ve had this bug since I was a college student when I first discovered the world of savings and fun that a thrift store can provide. My first trip, I went with a friend to the local thrift shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I found jeans and sweatshirts for about a buck each and even found some comfortable chairs for my dorm room for ten bucks. Soon, all my friends were visiting the thrift store and reveling in the great deals.

A few years later, after I was out of school and working as a collegiate chaplain, I found one of my all-time favorite thrift stores. I took a bunch of students to Chicago to work with the homeless in the downtown area. One of the men we were working with told us about a thrift store just a few blocks from the soup kitchen ministry where we were staying. This unique thrift store was about as big as a typical Walmart and had even better deals than most! At least half of the clothes were brand new with tags still attached, yet they only cost between 50 cents and a dollar. Winter boots, gloves, coats, they had them all! Sporting goods, tape decks (keep in mind this was the early 80s), dishes–you name it, they had it! It was such a neat experience.

There’s something about finding a great deal that makes my day. I think humans were created to appreciate the thrill of a good bargain. Of course, none of the bargains at the thrift store can come close to the greatest thrill of life–to be awakened to the goodness and grace of God.

God took great delight in purchasing us for His kingdom. Unlike the thrift store specials, He paid a very high price for our redemption. We are told in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” When I think of this ultimate payment, there are no words to describe how unworthy I am to receive such a gracious gift. Yet there is great joy in this transaction as well. 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

If you get the chance to explore a thrift store, you’ll be happy you did. If you find yourself drawn to Christ and you put your faith in Him, you’ll find joy inexpressible and filled with glory!

Happy Seeking,