Ok, Ok... I'm listening.
Between the conviction that I keep receiving as I look at the state of affairs in our family and life, a recurring prompting keeps hammering at my brain. Too much stuff.
Then, I pick up this book at Sam's Club last week called "7; a Mutiny against excess". I'm about halfway through it and it has only added to the confirmation of what God had already been speaking to me about.
THEN, we arrive on Sunday to church, only for Pastor Chris to preach on the very thing I've been discussing with God. Consumerism and the Christian (well, finances was the sermon but the focus was putting up guardrails, boundaries if you will, on our consumerism and hoarding with our money. Consumerism and the Christian. That could be a book!?!).
We are called to live differently - MUCH differently - than the world, once we've said "Yes" to God. Yet, my consuming habits - be they food, shopping, possessions - don't look that much different from my neighbor (well, maybe it DOES with the neighbor across our court that has ZERO items in their garage. ZERO. I want to be like them.).
Without setting out to do so, I have fallen into the trap of consumerism and dare I say, hoarding. (Y'all who've seen my garage are nodding your heads, I'm sure). Yikes. This is not aligned with God's words. In fact, it blatantly contradicts God's words.
"If you have two coats, give one to the poor. If you have food, share with those who are hungry." - Luke 3: 11
"...You cannot love both God and money" - Matt. 6:24
I never considered myself as a lover of money. We've always had just enough to meet our needs and do some fun stuff each month (if we're careful in spending). You know, just enough to keep us humble and remembering that God supplies our income, ultimately. Yet, here I am, surrounded by stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.
Did you know that if you make $35,000/year, you are in the top 5% (read rich) of the global population?? You make $50,000?? You're in the top 1%!!! (Thanks, Jen Hatmaker for these statistics. Learn more here - www.jenhatmaker.com)
To quote from her book, "7":
Excess has impaired America (dare I add,specifically, the church); we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer.
We're tangled in unmanageable debt while feeding the machine, because we feel entitled to more. What does it communicate when half the global population lives on less than $2 a day, and we can't manage a fulfilling life on twenty-five thousand times that? Fifty thousand times that amount?"
Ouch. That was just in her introduction!
So, today, after many, many promptings (I told you I can be thick-headed)... we are heading into a life of radical change, to align our life to look more like Jesus, who possessed nothing and gave it all away.
School has been postponed to the afternoon today after an amazing talk with our boys about changes we believe God is calling us to in our life. They have responded with enthusiasm and desire to embrace giving more and more of our life away.
Join me on this journey, won't you? (besides, I can use some accountability)