Monday, March 15, 2010

Day # 23 March 15th – Frugality/Simplicity

“Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Luke18:22). “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). It is no doubt that Jesus, the son of a carpenter, and traveling healer/evangelist/prophet/Son of God, lived a simple life. We also see that Paul, gave up many luxuries for the sake of responding to the gospel (good news). We even see Jesus command the rich ruler to give up all he has. The disciples later in Luke 18 point out to Jesus they have given up everything, and Jesus acknowledges this fact and promises them great reward. We can look at Matthew 6:19-34 and see that Jesus teaches us not to worry about earthly possessions. Despite these examples, and call to simple living, we tend to think these texts address other people, and not our selves. In a time and a country that finds identity in possession, we have become consumed by consumerism. Simple living is an archaic idea that no longer applies to our societies. Yet, it is the abundance of our possessions that have too long weighed down our souls. We are called to live simple lives. This does not mean we forsake all money, and adopt a life of extreme poverty (although for some people God is calling them to exactly that). Simple living means using your money for necessities, being frugal, so that the excess of money can be used to bless, give, or help others. Simple living allows us not to be bogged down by stuff, and helps us approach God more easily and freely. Jesus tells us not to waste time storing up treasures here because eventually they disappear, but our lives should be spent storing up treasure in heaven, but living simply, giving generously, and loving dangerously. It is only when we give up our life, we find it (Mark 8:35).

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