My Favorite Sin
I recently read (or listened to rather) a book by Jen Hatmaker called "Seven". It is an awesomely written journal that Jen kept while attempting to battle the enemy of excess over a series of 7 months. Excess, defined as, "lack of moderation in an activity, especially eating or drinking." Also known as what scripture refers to as greed.
And after listening to all she had to say, it became dauntingly apparent to me, that I too have struggled with this culture of excess.
And not just struggled with it, I have ENJOYED it.
I have bought every new piece of technology I could afford, a gym membership when I have a perfectly good and accessible gym for free in my apartment complex, and I go to Chik-fil-A up to 3 times a week when I have perfectly good food at home!
(This would probably be a good time for me to clarify my use of the word "favorite" in the title of this post. I mainly chose this word in hopes that it would be an attention grabber. A more accurate title would have probably read, "The sin we all commit" or "The sin I struggle with most." But who wants to read about that? Anywho, I do not want to communicate that we should have a favorite sin that we just love to commit and can't get over. Okay, end of rant.)
And as I listened to Jen Hatmaker's experiences and her references to scripture my heart became burdened by how much excess there was in my life.
She makes a statement throughout the book that goes like this...
"If it is not true for a Christian, single mother, living in Haiti, it isn't true for me."
How convicted I was by this.
You see, as Christians living in America, we believe that God blesses us with abundance, success, and comfort. We have taken our greed and our love for new things and big houses and awesome technology and called ourselves, blessed.
And what a horrible disservice we've done to every struggling nonbeliever, every suffering believer, the church, and to the mission of Christ himself.
Our Americanized definition of "blessing" just simply isn't true for our Christian brothers and sisters living in impoverished nations.
Our Americanized definition of "blessed" is a cover-up for a deeply buried sin that we have come to accept, celebrate, and reward.
Am I saying it is wrong to have things and work hard or be successful in supporting your family? No. But I do think there is a fine line between having enough and finding your joy in your ability to have more.
I'm learning that what computer I have, or what clothes I wear, or how much I have in my savings account are only temporary things. They are things that we call valuable now, but things that will be worthless later.
Should you go and give away all of your money and belongings tomorrow? Well, maybe. But probably not.
God calls us to be wise with our money. And calls those of us who have been given much, to give much.
If you have resources and wealth and success or even fame, that's awesome! Good for you. But just make sure you are using it for His glory, and not your own. Serving others instead of yourself. And not storing up your treasures here in this life, but instead, in the one that is to come.
I am going to do my best to do the same.
“There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.” - Billy Graham
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." 1 Timothy 6:10