Saturday, June 14, 2008

Five for 50

I stood at the kitchen sink and exclaimed to myself, "I need a new thing to hold my dish sponge." In my mind I pictured a shiny, sleek stainless steel holder that would hide the ugly look of worn sponges.

And then, as quickly as the first thought popped into my head, this conviction came, "No, I don't NEED a new holder. I don't even NEED an old holder." (I actually don't even have a holder, so this was a strange conversation to be having with myself!)

In America the line between necessity and luxury has been grossly blurred...and, if we are honest, we will agree that our list of "needs" actually includes a large number of indulgences.

Sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking that we have to meet our own needs before giving money to others...and yet so many of those "needs" are not truly necessary. Sure they make life more convenient or fun, and I'm not saying there isn't room for that in our lives, BUT how is it that we can so easily live lives of convenience and fun while the world around us starves, aches, and dies?

Lately my heart has been so heavy about this...heavy like it has fallen from my chest and is lodged somewhere around my knee. If you are a follower of Christ, how can you justify this? (Believe me, I am not asking you anything I'm not asking myself).

We tend to hear stories of hurting people and pray "Oh, Lord, help them"...but perhaps His help to them is through us. And I don't just mean that 10% tithe (which actually is an OT command for the Jews) I mean giving sacrificially. Living with less so others can live with more. Living with much less so that others can simply live.

From what I see in the NT there are 12 COMMANDS about giving and 14 COMMANDS about money. If we were all honest, very few of us would be able to say that we are truly obedient to them all. But if we different would the world look?

God does bless us with nice things sometimes as a gift...and sometimes He gives us the OK to make the purchase ourselves. But I would venture to say that most of us, myself included, have bought things just because we wanted them, out of impulse, from wrong motives, etc.

I pray that God will work in all of us to allow HIM to bless us rather than trying so hard to bless ourselves....that He will give us discernment between luxuries and necessities...and that He will put His giving nature in our hearts so that when we use the money (His money) that He has placed in our hands, it will be to bless others first and ourselves second.

If you are looking for someone with whom to share the resources God has placed in your hands, consider FIVE FOR 50. I was directed to this site by Jamie from tinyrockstar, and it is a Hopechest campaign where they share that for $5 they can feed an orphan for a month (100 meals). There is a precious video on the site.


Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

I am with you. I have been feeling exactly the same way. As I posted, the Hope Lives book that I am reading speaks directly to this.

Glad you are supporting 5 for 50. Do you follow the Red Letters Campaign as well?

Jenna said...

So well said. I think the Lord is really at work with many of us to change our hearts, minds, and habits for His glory! Our conversations here have has so much to do with this.

I LOVE 5 for 50. I passed it along to several of my friends-such a simple theory, but SO powerful!

Rebecca said...

Amen girl!

I think we as Christians in American have no concept of giving!!!! (Myself included!)

I have been thinking about the rich young ruler lately... how he kept all of the commandments, but Jesus said "ONE THING you lack... sell everything you have & give to the poor, and follow Me." And how the Bible says, "He went away sad." I wondered about myself... if Jesus asked that I sell EVERYTHING - my house, my stuff - would I feel the same way?

We have some friends who live just down the street from us. Pray for them, their names are Dave & Jackie. They are thinking about selling EVERYTHING and going to China. They have 2 little girls and are our age. When I look at them and how they are living a life of such faith, it makes me want to live that way! More and more, I have such a distaste for "stuff" and more of a taste for living life in such a way that it advances God's kingdom. Maybe for us that WILL mean selling everything. We are in the process of selling a lot of our stuff right now and it is VERY freeing.

Thanks for posting about this!! It's been on my heart too... as you can tell. :)


Lynn said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I am having a hard time getting my boys to "get" this.

Hannah said...

Hey Tish. Yes, great post! Apparently a lot of us are intimately acquainted with that little voice you spoke of. : ) It is so counter-cultural to think of hungry orphans above our own very strong 'need' to be fulfilled and cozy in life. Yet there is something so deeply joyful about denying ourselves for the sake of others.
Anyhow, thanks for bringing that perspective to our attention again! : )
with joy,
p.s. I work for Children's Hopechest, the organization that launched 5 for 50. Just so you can place me. take care.