Monday, January 24, 2011

SIOL: Sell what you have...

...and give it to the poor.  I'm pretty sure I've read that somewhere...

I think this experiment has brought many thoughts to my mind, but ultimately, it's simply reinforced all of the pearls of wisdom that have been passed my way through the years, only to be trampled by my own ignorance and ridiculous spending habits.

A friend of mine told me that she'd spent a summer serving in inner-city missions with a family who were missionaries in Russia.  This family took this command very literally, and arrived back in the States that summer with two full sets of clothing each.  That's two pairs of pants, two shirts, and probably a few miscellaneous jackets, shoes, etc.  The rest, they gave to the poor.  And guess what?  They didn't look homeless, or not presentable, and probably only a few people who spent every day with them noticed.  Life went on.

Francis Chan is one righteous dude, and I had the pleasure of seeing him speak the spring before I took off for China.  The one thing I will always remember him saying is, "Did it ever occur to you that Jesus actually meant what he said?  That those commands were literal?"  Often times, I find myself avoiding the commands that seem too difficult, too time consuming, or simply too "unrealistic."

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:13

Of course, wearing the same six items of clothing for a month doesn't make me a martyr.  But it does bring to mind how much money, time, and energy I put into buying, wearing, organizing, then throwing away my clothing.  It reminds me of what I could do without, and what I could do with the resources I've been blessed with.

I won't make any grand gestures on such a shaky podium, but I will say that the possibility of what God can do through me opens so much wider when I am willing to let go of what I really don't need and cling to what He desires for me to do.

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