Life.  Some see it as a randomly assigned smattering of days with no purpose.  Others believe in divine appointments they rarely keep.  For most, ordinary.  But it doesn't have to be.   What if we dared to go the narrow way? Join me in taking THE FAITH DARE.

Caution: Participating in this challenge might force you to give up some of the things (people?) dearest to you. This challenge could change your life.  Join at your own risk.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FAITHdare #8: Revisited

How has God challenged you this week as you examined the idol of possessions?

I'd like to share a way in which God has challenged me. So, I'm young. I don't have a mortgage; I don't have kids. But I still have stuff, and I still spend money. And God has been and is continually convicting me with how I use and spend the resources He has given me. I may not be rich according to America's standards, but I am incredibly blessed to have more than I need and am therefore rich in the world's eyes.

So...recently I opened my closet and felt sick to my stomach when I saw everything that was in there, much of which rarely sees the light of day. I decided it was time to dig through it all.

Yep, that's everything I got rid of. Maybe because of the bad quality of the pictures you can't grasp the gravity of this situation. Let me help you added up to almost 4 large trash bags full of clothes. I am scared to know how much money I spent on all of these clothes. Many people around the world don't even own a shirt.

My new mantra is, "Have what you wear and wear what you have." Sad thing is, most days I don't even feel a difference. I'm in scrubs half the week, for crying out loud! As someone reminded me recently, though, NOT SPENDING money on things you don't need is sometimes just as big as selling your stuff. So I'm not buying any new clothes for a long time. I don't need them! AND, although I don't have a job right now and am not particularly abounding in funds, I do want to be generous with what God has given me. So I'm working on that.

Here's my new closet...about 7 shirts and 7 pairs of pants. More than what I need!

The way I see it, the less I have, the harder it will be to get attached to "stuff." While my eyes are being opened to the needs of the impoverished around the world, getting rid of my clothes was less about serving the poor and more about me selfishly wanting to know Christ better (thus getting the obstacles out of the way). I pray that God continues to teach me about serving the poor and what that should look like in my life. I want to live my days pursuing ETERNAL treasure, not earthly possessions. I have to be honest though...I STILL waste money. I am in this with you! I am learning what it means to love God WHOLEHEARTEDLY in new ways every day. I hope you join's an exciting journey!

Will you share your experience this week with the rest of us?


  1. Two passages to add to the list - 1 Peter 1:3-8 and Hebrews 13:1-8.
    Late last week I was diagnosed with a new life long medical condition that radically changes my diet. I've spent this week really struggling with my loss of coffee and other things that are now on the "no" list. For those of you who don't know me, I would have rather given away most of my closet than given up coffee. I actually went through withdrawl symptoms of headaches and lethargy in the early part of this week. It was miserable. But once I had adjusted to the new diet, I found that I feel better than I have felt in years. The diagnosis of my condition gave me the opportunity to now live the way my body needs to live, to thrive and be healthy. I think the Holy Spirit does this in prompting what we must give up for the sake of the call. While it is hard to part with our treasures (money, possessions, coffee, control... we all have something) the Holy Spirit is calling us to the life that we were meant to live - to thrive in the body of Christ. And once parted with those things that distract us from Him, we will find ourselves feeling better than before - satisfied in the way that only Christ can.

  2. I love you so much. I've been struggling with this possession thing more than I thought. With clothes it's difficult because as I get rid of things, I find myself replacing them at least somewhat through Goodwill purchases. And I justify it in that way...well, it's all used clothing anyways. So it's not a lot of money, but it is still significant, I think. When I found out I got a new job that required a new wardrobe, I immediately went out and bought some "new to me" clothing. So...despite having cleaned out tons of things this year from my room and wardrobe, my room is still quite messy which is evidence that I still have a lot of stuff. I think some of it has to do with the fact that I very much a part of this culture. I have a job in this culture, I am trying to maintain my place in certain groupings of friends who dress in a specific way, etc, etc.

    What do others think about this tension? I am supposed to a be a part of the culture around me, but also set apart. As I write this, though, I know what I need to do: more cleaning!

    I am comfortable being "uncomfortable" up to a point, but Jesus has called me away from my uncomfortable comfort. Even though I know my load will be much lighter as I rid myself of my possessions, it's amazing how I hold onto THINGS and consistently choose baggage over freedom.

  3. Susan, I'm so with you! I want to get rid of the obstacles that are hindering me from deeper communion with Jesus...whatever they are! I'm also with you on the coffee thing! Except for me I think the harder thing to part with would be sweets...but recently I have been thinking about how much money I could be spending on healthy meals for those who need them most just by limiting my diet to what I need! In America, we consume so much excess. It's not easy parting with those "treasures," though...that's why sometimes I think it WOULD be easier just to give up everything and live in a box! Then there's no temptation to idolize things!

    Charise, I love you too! And I have no idea how to ease that tension. I suppose there is a fine line between being set apart from the world and alienating ourselves from the world. Unfortunately, I have trouble being set apart, so I'm not sure alienating myself from the world is a concern for least right now. I do have a tendency to do the same thing you mentioned...getting rid of something (or making a major change), and then just replacing whatever I got rid of (or changed) with something else. I guess it all comes back to that daily faithfulness we talked about...committing to live a set apart life every day. I'm not really sure how to do that though...I'm learning!

  4. "There was a struggle between his convictions and his corruptions; he desired to serve two masters--God and mammon; and when Christ told him that was impossible, he was chagrined.
    His fatal deficiency may be described in a variety of ways. He had no conviction that he was a ruined, lost and Hell-deserving sinner, no consciousness that he was a spiritual leper in the sight of God, no realization of his utter helplessness to better his condition. Though religious, he was still in nature's darkness, and therefore, his affections were not raised above the vanities of this world. There was no love for God within him; and consequently, he was unwilling to deny himself, abandon his idols, and give God His rightful place in his life--serving, pleasing, and enjoying Him. He lacked a real and unreserved surrender of his heart to God." Aurthur Pink

    As I was in the word this week reading the different passages you had for us and reading more and more about money and possessions, God kept opening my eyes to so many things.
    I'm in the book of Phillipians, and in chapter 3 Paul talks about everything he use to be, he was the Hebrew of the Hebrews, he thought he had it all, and then he realized that everything he had and had done was "dung" compared to knowing Jesus Christ. Then we had the Peter a fisherman, he was not rich by any means, but he was rich in Christ. King Salomon had great wealth, but none of it compared to knowing the living God.
    By reading all these different accounts, I was so amazed how much God is concerned about my heart. I am always so amazed to read Paul and his teaching, how much he longs to know Christ. So I said all of that to say this. God can entrust us with many things, a wonderful house, children, spouse, money, etc. As long as we do not make them an idol of our lives (for the LOVE of money is the root of evil), all those things do not belong to us anyway. God has entrusted us with our children for a season, so we may train them with the Word, to a godly man and woman of God and then send them off and trust God that He has whats best for them. That is really hard for me to say because I know God loves my children more than I do, but I tent to think that at times I know better than God. I know sometimes that doesn't work out, God gives and God takes away, if God allows my children to have a full life, I will very thankful for everyday that they have lived, but if he takes them sooner, I also know that He is all knowing and that they our season was just shorter with them, daily faithfulness.
    And so that happens with everything that God gives us, wether is a pair of shoes or a faithful friend. It all belongs to Him. Daily faithfulness has been huge for me these couple of weeks, with prayer God has allowed me to focus on today, because we are not promise tomorrow. And it is amazing the opportunities that God has given me to be faithful and to be obedient. I wish I could tell you that I was obedient all the time, but I am still a sinner, and only by God's grace I can do anything.
    So Abigail, thanks for the challenge I know that you are not just challenging me but my friends too, we have so many conversations and searching for opportunities to be obedient for what God has for us.