I started writing a completely different post this week, but my pull toward writing things that challenge Christians to simple-living continues. Being recently so convicted by this, I continue to not understand why more of this is not talked about among churches. Why are Christians not practicing simple living?
The people living in the United States, where I live, spend so much money each year on things they do not need, and do so on a regular basis. In fact USA Today did an article that Americans spend 18,000$ a year on non essential purchases. I have found that to definitely be the case among the people I know. So much is spent on unnecessary eating out, and entertainment. The show “Tidying Up” became the most popular show in 2019 on Netflix, and millions of people were decluttering. It is a prime example that we simply own and spend too much.
I recently read the book “In His Steps”https://amzn.to/3JgHU6l. It is the story of the movement “What Would Jesus Do?” This was so fascinating to me, because as a kid I grew up with the slogan “What Would Jesus Do?” (Aka WWJD) being written on bracelets. These were given away in churches, and Christian events all over the place. I had no idea then where the slogan came from. The book gives the inspiration for the movement in great detail. It is such a moving book.
So, What Would Jesus Do?
So, What Would Jesus Do? What would happen if all Christians everywhere asked ourselves this question each time we spent our money, or acted. Instead of buying the pants that the girl on instagram had, that were so cute. What if you paid for the meal of the poor neighbor down the street? Instead of spending your money on eating out for dinner, you ate at home and bought some shoes for someone who doesn’t have any.
This whole process of spending less, and owning less in our home is not just great for stress. It is for the purpose of using that money for the people in our own neighborhoods, and towns that need it. I’m telling this to myself here too. In asking myself the question WWJD? I realized that the whole reason for my existence is the Gospel of Christ. If I am not sharing that in a real way, then all of this is useless.
Next time I want to Buy Something I am going to Ask Myself This Question: ” Would I Rather Spend the Money on this Thing, or Give the Money to Someone in Need?”
As Christians we have been far too concerned with our own comfort, and excessive possessions then we are about the starving child a couple houses down. Why is this? How did we get here? This is my why when it comes to simplifying my home. If we can get rid of duplicates in our homes, so that we can share with others why would we not? If I can stop spending money so that I can be Jesus to someone else then why not?
Jesus talks about this plenty in scripture, which is why a few Christian denominations practice simple living as part of their daily life. Jesus talks about if you have two coats to give one to another, or not storing up treasures on earth. The Bible explains that we are to give to those in need.
My husband and I were discussing this concept recently after I had found a missionary in Uganda named Joy online who literally lives this entire concept out. She talks about giving up buying clothes and frivolous things to that she can send kids to school in Uganda, or help them in other ways. This stunned me, because it was the very thing I had been thinking about lived out.
In America we all spend so much money on yearly trips to the beach, and other various forms of entertainment. What if we used this money that we spend on all of these things, to help those who cannot afford to feed themselves or go to school. I am definitely convicted of this for sure in my own life.
Shame on Me
I have spent so much time thinking about what I want or what I should wear that I am ashamed. Why have I complained about eating something for dinner I did not want to eat, while someone else was starving? I am sad that I went into debt for stupid things that I did not need. Every time I take a load to Goodwill I am confronted with the fact that we spent money on these things. Was it necessary for us to do that? Most of the time it probably wasn’t.
So What Now?
My goal in this year is to quit buying unnecessary things. To really be intentional with each purchase of food, of things, and of entertainment. This is something I also want to be teaching our children. I want them to understand all of these things at a young age so they grow up being compassionate. I am going to pay off debt, and give freely to others. This has all inspired me to be compassionate to others and share the Gospel in a real way.
” Self Abandonment is the thing that simplifies our lives…Quietly give up all of the options, and ask God to show you what to do.” Elisabeth Elliot
I hope that God speaks to you through this post. I hope that it challenges you to think about your spending, and think more about others. As Christians we are called to live as He lived. I think we often forget that in our daily grind, and comfy lifestyles. We often forget that others need us to help them. I am so thankful that God has revealed all of these things to me. I feel as though my life has completely changed in the last year. He is doing a real work in me, and Praise God for that. I pray that you are well, and that all of these things are helpful.