“The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof . . .” – Psalm 24:1

“You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out what you love.” – Koran 3:92 

Shopping is the exchange of money for goods. A thing is good according to the amount of distance it had to travel to get to you and you had to travel to get to it.  Hazel Henderson calls this principle “Whole cost accounting,” where you add in everything to the price, including your time and your money and the trip the “good” took to get to you.

The thing doesn’t really belong to you.  It belongs to God’s fullness.  If you think it is yours, it gets in the way of your spending out what you love or understanding God’s intended economy.  It could even become clutter.  Most of us have closets and garages that are way too full and hearts that are way too empty.

That tent I bought at Wal-Mart was good when the rain poured down on the 32 people I had invited to my back yard for my husband’s 65th birthday.  It was less good when I realized it was made in China.  That tent took a long trip to get to me and was made by people who don’t get paid much, like the Wal-mart worker who took it to my car for me, which car I drove 20 miles “home.”

My tent needs a moral check-up.  Now that I have it, and it is safely put away in my garage, I’ll just have to throw more parties on rainy days.  Or give somebody a real bargain at a yard sale in a decade or so.


Let us add to your fullness, Great Spirit, and learn to spend and empty on our way to our own full.

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Check out her book: Prayers for People Who Say They Can’t Pray.