this might be a rant…

July 10, 2008

A few weeks ago in community group we studied Matthew 6:24-34:

              24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Do Not Worry
     25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I sat speechless the entire night, fighting back tears as these verses were discussed. I wish i had written this blog immediately while my thoughts were still fresh, but i’ll do the best I can with what I can remember. It always seems, to me, that when this type of scripture is studied, we spend more time justifying our way of life and fitting it in to scripture than letting scripture change our ways. Somehow.. and I’m not sure how, 401ks were brought up and defended. “Well… I know God wants us to be good stewards of our money and I dont think saving for our future is a bad thing. I dont think having a good job and planning ahead is a bad thing. I dont think having a reliable car is a bad thing. I dont think clothing myself and looking nice is a bad thing…etc.” 

DONT GET ME WRONG…. I adhere to those thoughts as well. But its extremely difficult for me when a question asked is “Do you think there is a contradiction between what these verses say and the poverty in the world”. YES. there is a contradiction. But the contradiction is not, and never is, on Gods part. He absolutely provides enough to go around. The problem in uneven distribution. Which is absolutely, unequivocally our fault. We were discussing this and someone said “yes, you’re right, there is unequal distribution” and i wanted to scream “INTO 401KS!!!!!!” I think the only way to be a good steward of the money we are blessed with is to give it where its needed. Of course… use of it what we need, but with the rest pray about how God would want us to use it. Why are we working our fingers to the bone to build up savings accounts and retirement funds for a future, a tomorrow that WE ARE NOT PROMISED. “It’s not wrong to want to prepare for the future.” Im not sure I understand how we can read scripture like Matthew 6:24-34 and then believe ourselves when we make a statement like that. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread. Not for our weekly bread.. our yearly bread.. our retirement bread. Our daily bread alone for tomorrow has enough worries of its own. 

 I didnt say a word all night because I am guilty too. I worry about the bills I have to pay. I wish I had a savings built up so tomorrows bills wouldnt worry me. I wish my bank account reflected the amount of work I do. But it doesnt.. and in the end, I’m ok with that. I understand that the business Im in is extremely profitable. I understand that in a few years I stand to make a lot of money. Im also extremely thankful for what the lord is teaching me now.. so when that time comes, if it does, i wont lose my head… (i hope i wont lose my head) I asked a friend to set me straight if I’m ever “worth anything.” Meaning if I ever have any monetary significance (which to me means more than i need at that given time) that I need to be set straight… because I dont for one minute think the Lord approves of our hoarding while there are mouths to be fed, bodies to be sheltered and clothed. 

I probably will fail in my intentions. I understand that. But I pray the lord will always convict me like he did a few tuesdays ago. I pray I’ll always realize his provision is perfect and it is us, me who screws it up. I must give much credit to my community group. I admire so much the honesty with which they are always able to discuss scripture… always truly searching for what the scripture means to us today and genuinely not trying to just fit it into our pattern of life. I’m so thankful for them and for their transparency and the way they always push me to go deeper. These verses, like pretty much the rest of the word, tear me up. They challenge me to break the mold of how i’ve grown up. To take an honest look at my life and my intentions… and the result is never pretty. But its the refinement process and I wouldnt trade one ugly realization and growth for what the end result will be. Because I know he’s making me, and us, into something beautiful.


3 Responses to “this might be a rant…”

  1. ryantmc Says:

    i agree 100%.

    daily bread is all we need…proverbs 30:8.

    i think the problem in our churches and within us, is we talk a lot and we are then satisfied by our words. when we talk about something so much it becomes almost like we did it, we need to address it. we’ve all heard the parable of the talents, we’ve all heard about the little widow who couldn’t give much but gave it all…when are we going to stop studying “theory” and start living it?

    when we see a need we must meet it…not a need within our power, a need within his! there’s always something to give, that’s how he made us!

    if you don’t have 50,000 to give to a family about to lose their home, you can’t provide it but don’t think you can’t be used. there are emotional and spiritual needs there as well. standing shoulder to shoulder with those that are in the thick of a crisis is usually more important than providing a meal, clothing, or money.

    one thing the lord’s been talking to me a lot about has been this. those of us that follow christ’s walk as best we can constantly focus on the destitute. obviously there is a huge need if someone can’t eat. but there are those that don’t want for anything but need the love of christ more than anything else. there are children of the wealthy that grow up without love in their homes and adults who believe the dollar is where life begins and ends. it is for them we must pray that god revels that what is theirs, actually is not. and it is for us to remember when we are blessed with the responsibility to give.

    the greatest thing about realizing your stuff, your family, and your car, is not your own but his…is that you are no longer a slave but are now free to live without worry of where your stuff will come from.

    and you’re right, we so need to break the mold of how we’ve grown up. whether it was our parents, our country, or the media that told us it was ok to pursue what we want; it is to pursue what he wants and that’s fairly obvious to those who have him in our hearts.

    i love the testimony of jesus; the relevance of which will never pass. in this time of plenty, there is plenty yet to do.

  2. Amy Says:

    This is great. What is this community group. I want to come.

  3. lanacole Says:

    hey! community groups are small groups of people from our church that meet once a week to discuss verses together. all of the groups discuss the same verses each week. also… there are many people who come who do not go to our church.. anybody is welcome. the one i go to is on tuesday nights at 7:30 and you are welcome to come! we are about to take a break for a couple weeks though, but will get started back up in august. feel free to come along anytime 🙂

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