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To be disappointed is human, but to insist on having something God has vetoed is the ultimate rejection of His wisdom. You must believe that if God desires a certain situation to come to pass in your life, nobody can thwart it.

If He denies your wish, consider that He may be working in you something of eternal value. Release it to Him.

Rest in the fact that Father knows best. Don't try to pacify your disappointment with a shopping spree.

In fact, during this vulnerable time, avoid the mall like the plague. It is far easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.

7. Happiness. Not all emotional spending is spurred by negative circumstances. Sometimes you can be so overjoyed by a situation that you want to celebrate by treating your family, friends or others. This is especially true of those who receive a big bonus or a financial windfall.

A recent television special on lottery winners showcased several people who had won millions of dollars but who had lost it all due to their uncontrolled emotional spending. One man had gotten so far out of control that he sold his future earnings of $10 million for $2.5 million!

I'm not discouraging generosity. However, if you know that you are prone to emotional spending, you would be wise to set aside a fixed amount for celebrations and stick to it. You may even have to put the rest of the money into the hands of a money manager or in an account that is not easily accessed in order to stay on track. You do not have to set a bad precedent by playing Santa for every positive event that happens in your life.

You can control your spending no matter what emotion is demanding to be addressed. A self-intervention will save the day.

Ask yourself, "What am I feeling?" and "What is the best way to deal with this particular emotion?"

Next, focus on the proposed purchase and keep the questions coming: "Do I need it or just want it?" "Is it outside my spending plan?" "Will it hinder or advance my financial objectives?" "Will it permanently satisfy this emotion?"

Most important, know that the Holy Spirit, your strength, is standing by to help you make the right decisions. Don't ignore Him! Listen to His gentle promptings to walk away from temptation and preserve your finances.

Read a companion devotional.

Deborah Smith Pegues is a respected financial consultant, author and speaker. She lives in California with her husband of more than 30 years, Darnell.

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