Based on what we talked about yesterday, how can we, today, be a blessing to "all the peoples"? Many interpret this as physically going out and serving and speaking to people about Christ. They are not wrong to interpret it as so, but for many of us, this is difficult right now based on the life choices we've made (and, in all truth, love). So, where does that leave us? I'd like to offer that we are already doing something that will be the means to the end we are looking for.
Living simply seems to be all the rage these days. It's good for our environment, our health, our stress levels and our bank accounts. There are TV shows, magazines, websites and many a blog out there that share the reason for and the how-to's of living the simple life.
While I've argued the choice of the adjective "simple" in the phrase "simple living", some definitions are ...
~ "conscious, simple, healthy and restorative living" (from The Simple Living Network)
~ "a lifestyle characterized by consuming only that which is required to sustain life" (wikipedia)
~ "to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly" (simpleliving.org)
Whatever our definition, it is the purpose, the goal, the focus behind what we do that really matters in this life. We just talked yesterday about how our purpose and God's can, and should, align.
Some of us are living simply right now because we have to. We have no choice. Bills come in the mail and we have to decide which ones to pay each month and which ones to make wait.
Some of us are living simply in order to get out of debt. We've either made some good choices (buying a house that we could afford or getting an education) or some bad ones (running up credit card debt or taking on a car payment we shouldn't have). Whatever the reason, we're trying to dig ourselves out by living simply.
Some of us (and I venture to say most of us) live simply by choice. We have seen the alternative and for whatever reason chose this lifestyle, are living it and more than likely, are really enjoying it.
Many of us in this category are also finding that living simply in many ways frees up some monetary resources. They may be small, but they exist. We have rejected blind consumerism, pointless trips to the malls, and trying to live up to society's expectations of what we need and cannot live without.
But, what are we doing with these freed-up resources? Are we saving for for retirement? Are we setting money aside for a new addition to our house? For a nicer car? For a special vacation? Are we using them to pay for the little indulgences we like to allow ourselves (to keep it real, my indulgences at the moment are books I could borrow from the library, but instead buy, and handcrafted jewelry)? Or maybe even for tools and gadgets that make simple living even simpler?
What if...what if...our sole purpose behind living simply was to give? That giving would become our current blessing give.
Living Simply In Order to Give.
That's what I want this blog, from yesterday forward, to promote and reflect.
So, there you have it. It's not earth shattering, but I think that it can be if we really tease out why we may be called to give, in what form that giving will look like and where our blessings should be given. My take on all that will follow.
Thanks for staying tuned.