Don’t Judge A Shopper By Her Cart


I have a confession.

(Not to the degree of Usher’s).

(Just when I thought I said all I can say).

I’m one of those people.

I’m one of those people who looks in other people’s grocery carts at the store.

Not every cart, mind you. Just ones that catch my eye. Or if you’re taking approximately 398 minutes selecting your 24 boxes of NutriGran bars because you have 24 coupons that will double.  Then, you give me the evil eye when (HOW DARE) I meekly grab a box of strawberry flavor.

(This seriously happened to me a few days ago. Heaven help me, if I would’ve reached for her blueberry bars. I may have lost an arm for the sake of granola).

(And I didn’t even have a coupon!)

But y’all. I’m the worst. I’m going to be really real here, like Jenny from the Block.

(Sorry for all of the ’00s music references)

(Except I’m not).

(Because if you know me, you know it’s Just a Day, Just an Ordinary Day).

I see you with five bags of potato chips and three bags of candy? And I think, “Like any of us need all of that…”

I see you with a carton of cigarettes with two little kids beside you? And I think, “Shouldn’t you be spending money on something that doesn’t harm your kids?”

I see you with everything 100 percent organic? And I think, “Well don’t they think they’re just better than the rest of us…”

Here’s the thing. God has a funny way of giving us a reality check in the middle of a Kroger aisle.

One day a few weeks ago, I received one of those.

I took a picture of my shopping cart:


Grilled Chicken.
Frozen Vegetables.
Lean Cuisines (Also known as a Fancy Snack).
Sugar-Free Popsicles.

Well, judging by her shopping cart, doesn’t she look like she has it all together?

It’s all a sham.

What you don’t see is the junk underneath.  The baked goods, candy, the 3 boxes of Velveeta, and I hadn’t even reached the chips and cokes aisles yet. Not to mention all of the baggage already in the pantry.

It’s the same with people. We put on a good front.  We hide our junk. Dressed cute, hair fixed (or tolerated, in my case), make-up on, a smile on our face. A “Good, how are you?” response.

We don’t let people know all the stuff we’re carrying with us (or all the food in our pantry). My smile may cover up an experience I haven’t quite gotten over yet.  The hurt that a certain subject will always have.  A burden I’m harboring or a weight I’m carrying.

I’ve got some good great news, though.

God sees it all.

“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

And YES, that’s good news.

Because he loves me and you with all of my and your junk included.

Our best efforts with our healthy food in our carts and the days where our vices may outweigh our strengths. He knows it all.  And He sent His Son for me knowing that one day I will be that outrageous and look at other people’s carts thinking their items (sins) are worse than mine.

When in reality, a banana will spoil faster than that bag of chips.  My sin is just as rotten as yours.

Thankfully, Jesus gives us a solution:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

So next time I see a person with the bags of chips and candy? I won’t judge you when I remember the Publix bakery is my kryptonite (And I am well-known to eat too many potato chips with some authority).

That person buying the carton of cigarettes? I won’t judge you when I remember I don’t care that my O’Charley’s Ranch cost about $2.50 PER OUNCE when I know I should be a following a stricter budget (and it’s not that low in calories) (Especially when I like a little EVERYTHING with my Ranch).

That person with everything 100% organic foods? I won’t judge you when I remember that my food doesn’t taste like tree bark. (I’M KIDDING) (Kinda). Really though, I’ll admire the determination to provide the healthy choices for your family.

Sometimes, God gives you a life lesson in the middle of contemplating why shredded cheese is always so expensive.

And I’m thankful.

However, if you are buying 290 bottles of mustard so the store will end up owing you 3 cents per bottle and blocking me from retrieving the one bottle of mustard I will purchase for the year, there’s gonna be a little bit of judgement.

Go ahead and Cry Me a River.



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