Friday, February 13, 2009

Awareness

This week, God has had me planted squarely on the subject of greed, contentment and consumption. It is hard to avoid the subject of money and materialism in light of the economic times we are experiencing. I have been making every effort to avoid the mass hysteria that the media seems to propagate and focus my attention squarely on the peace we can find in our God. Yet, even without seeking His Word specifically on this matter, every sermon I have heard and most of the things I have read keep pointing to something specific in my life He wants to address.

It started Sunday at Buckhead Church. We heard the final message of a six part series Andy Stanley has been preaching on finances called, Balanced. This week during 'laundry time' I listened to messages 4 & 5. (Don't ask why I didn't start in the beginning. I often do things strangely.) Message 5 truly spoke to my heart in a way messages about money and finances have not in the past. To sum it up Andy said, "When we become aware of what we don't have...we become discontent, and spend accordingly. Yet when we become aware of what others need...we become content, and give accordingly. Are you more aware of what you don't have or what others need?"

Lord, make me more aware of what others need than of what I want. It is profound in its simplicity.

As if this wasn't enough of a message. I just completed a chapter in Crazy Love called Profile of the Lukewarm. This chapter is one great big ouch, in terms of challenging the status quo for Christians.

I have been pondering these things for a couple of days--then the final straw was this post by Jon Acuff. (I'll wait...Go read it.) This is where the rubber meets the road for me. I find 'sacrificial giving' so difficult as a stay at home Mom. I don't feel that my time or our family finances are completely 'mine' to sacrifice. Sacrificing time or money feels like I am taking from my family. I am praying that God would make my perspective right on this issue.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the links above if you check them out.

6 comments:

The Robillards said...

Jennifer, I too think about this very thing! I love giving my time to help others and at times I actually feel guilty that I'm taking time away from my own family. What complicates things a little more is that I have to work full-time and already don't have much time with my family as it is. I think it's really hard to find that balance that everyone thinks is right in His eyes. I pray about this often and hope that I am giving enough.

Brooke

Ashley said...

Andy Stanley's message was exactly what I needed to hear at this exact moment in my life. I feel like this was posted for me. Thank you!

anna said...

i had read the SCL post earlier this week. i wish i hadn't...because then i wouldn't have been kicked in the rear to start doing something. i was pretty comfortable before i read it. God has been challenging me lately about finances and really giving Him our money. i am a stay at home mom also (to eight month old twins!) and i don't know what He is calling me to do yet. but i am feeling that tug.
i've been reading your blog for a long time now, and i love it! so cute!

Work In Progress said...

ouch...i've often heard that our most valuable asset is not any of our 'things' but our time...your post and SCL certainly brought that into perspective.
awesome post...
-r

Christi said...

As usual, this post spoke directly to me this morning. Especially after reading the SCL post... ouch.

Thanks for your perspective on this - now I've got some thinking to do!

Peter and Nancy said...

We are thinking about doing another adoption, and we know certain relatives and friends who will freak out at the idea of spending so much money again (to then spend even more money raising 4 instead of 3 children!). But we can't stop thinking about the things you're talking about -- especially this: how often do we, as American Christians, give out of our need or really have to sacrifice?

Hope your "wrestling" with God is productive . . . hope ours is too!
-- Nancy