I love a bargain! There is nothing quite as exhilarating as coming upon a sales rack in my favorite store filled with clothing I like at a reduced rate. It’s like winning the lottery! Which I have never done, so I can’t technically know that!

In 2006, we traveled to China. Shopping in Beijing was a whole new experience with bartering required. That is not my forte. This is how the day progressed – Dave and I wandered the stalls until we found something of interest. Picking it up signaled the sales person you were interested. They swooped in with calculator in hand and practiced English phrases intended to convince you to buy at their price.

The calculator was utilized as a tool of communication. The sales person put an initial selling price on the screen and showed it to us. Obviously, we refused and countered. This continued for some minutes, while the sales person put on a sad face, asking “Why you don’t like me? ” when we didn’t accept the price. I was ready to pay and move on long before Dave was done haggling; but then, that was all a part of the process.

I don’t like that kind of shopping!

A few days ago, the reading from Proverbs landed on me with a thud. It challenged and convicted me to watch how I barter for services.

14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain!

Proverbs 20:14

Initially, I might be tempted to laugh and applaud this type of haggling. But I am brought up short by what lies behind this behavior. It is disingenuous and does not bring glory to God, revealing an ungrateful, stingy spirit.

May you live with generous open hands, blessing others however you are able and trusting God for bargains when you need them.

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