The book I'm still reading, "7", is stirring me up. Darn you Jen Hatmaker, your books always do this!
I thought I'd share the latest nugget I took from reading yesterday.
Actually it's not so much a nugget...for me it's more like a boulder. Weighing heavy on my heart.
Without going into tons of detail on the book itself, I'll just say this particular chapter is on 'spending.'
A point was brought up that someday we will all stand before Jesus and give account for our lives...every detail. There will be a lot of things to answer for...some good, some bad.
Where does my spending come into play here? I'm not a big shopper. I don't do designer anything.
My husband and I consider ourselves to be fairly modest, simple people. Not a lot of extravagant things and not a lot of up to date, latest greatest gotta have electronics.
Am I just comparing myself to the average American, or even the average Christian, and then coming to the conclusion that my spending habits are totally fine? Or am I looking to the Bible and my own personal convictions to make decisions on where, when and how much I spend?
Here's the thing.
25,000 people a DAY starve to death around the world. That makes 9 million per year.
You might say, well that's too bad, sad really, but one person can't make a dent in that, so why bother?
Why self-sacrifice when the difference won't seem tangible?
Because as a Christian, I am called to do what's right all the time...
not just when the results will be seen.
I'm not trying to convict anyone else, and certainly am not passing judgement on anyone else's spending habits. This is a deeply personal issue for me to grapple with right now.
Here's where I'm convicted:
Someday Jesus will ask me why I didn't do as he commanded...to seek justice, to take care of the orphans and widows in distress (modern speak, that's starving women and children...including here in the US...and I don't think Jesus said orphans and widows with the intent of leaving out hungry men!)
Is it going to be a reasonable, plausible excuse to say,
"Well Jesus, I really wanted to help, my heart really was for
homeless, starving, hurting people,
but I just didn't have the resources to help them!
I mean, I was a stay at home mom and my husband was a teacher...
we didn't exactly roll in dough!"
I don't think so...not when Jesus reminds me of the hundreds of $5 coffees I indulged in, the times I was at Target for a few necessities and left with some more clothes I didn't need, but bought because hey, they were on clearance and I couldn't resist!
(I'm not saying clothes or coffee is bad. I'm not self-inflicting guilt on myself for buying things that are needed...just re-evaluating what exactly a 'need' constitutes)
How many mouths could I have fed with the money "I didn't have"? A lot I'm guessing.
My heart really IS for the homeless, starving, hurting people in the world, including this country.
It's what my passion is. It's where I feel called to ministry. It's what gets me excited, it's what God's put on my heart...to walk out Matthew 25 and Isaiah 58.
So I'm done comparing myself to others around me and justifying what I needlessly spend by thinking of how much less it is than 'this person' or 'that family'.
I want spending to be intentional...does that mean I'm swearing off of Starbucks forever? Probly not.
I don't want to be legalistic or get a complex that I'm better than anyone because I deprive myself.
Not the point.
The point is to live a generous life. Generous with my time, resources, gifts, and money...
Which may mean taking a friend out to Starbucks and paying for hers!:)