Stores used to give them out based on how much you spent there. You had a little book to stick them in, and when the book was filled up you could cash it in on gifts like a toaster or a set of napkin rings. If you wanted something really big you could cash in several books and get a radio or a punch bowl set.
My mom once told me that unforgiven anger is like keeping a trading stamp book. Say somebody does something that irritates you a little. It's not enough, maybe, to confront them about, but you take note of it. You hold onto it. You stick it into your trading stamp book with that person's name on the front.
After a while, and after many minor infractions and subsequent trading stamps, that person does one more "thing". You stick the final stamp into your book, then you CASH IT IN ON THEM!!!! Meanwhile, they are confused as to why you got so upset over something so trivial!
I've always remembered her little illustration. Anger is one of my eating issues. I tend to stick the stamp in the book AND eat a box of donuts! Well, I used to. Recently I realized that while I'm no longer trying to eat my anger away, I still have a hefty collection of trading stamp books with various names on them, including my own.
- "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. " 1Corinthians 13:4-7
I am not proud to admit that I still keep those books. It's time to throw them away! And I'm realizing that it's not enough to just get rid of them. I need to replace my "record of wrongs" with protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering. Getting thin, by itself, is never going to make me happy. But learning to love, God's way....with that there's a chance.
Anyway, as far as I know, no one does trading stamps any more!