Thursday, October 18, 2012

7.2.1 Nine Tenths of the Law

7 Experiment
2nd Month:  Possessions
1st Post
Mr. Observant Husband found out I was doing this on the 10th of October.  At that point I had already given away 70 things.  That's how much we have.  We being me.  We being my family.  We being pretty much anyone reading this blog.

The point of this experiment is not to de-clutter my house or get more organized, though that is happening.  It's not about a checklist, but I do love a good list.  This is about intentional reduction to bless others.

1 John 3:17-18 lays it out pretty clear for Christian-folks.  "If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

Let's lay this out my favorite way - in a list.  Yea!

#1  "If anyone has material possessions"  Um...Check.  I have an insane amount of possessions. In fact, at halfway through this month, I have given away 126 things, and it hasn't affected me in the slightest.  I guess the husband is more observant than first assumed to be.

#2  "and sees a brother in need but has no pity on him"  Well, I know if I saw a brother in need, I would help.  But here is the problem that Shane Claiborne and I share, "...the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor..."  (Insert slap across face.)

On Sunday we talk about which of our two cars to take to our church in the middle of suburbia.  We have playgroups with people just like us.  The families we hang out with seem to be an eerie copy of ours.  I do not see brothers in need.  Surely this does not please the Lord.

As I step back, I can almost see the walls constructed by wealthy Christians in America.  Maybe I did not build the walls, but I am doing nothing to tear them down.  God, give me a wrecking ball. 

#3  "how can the love of God be in that person?"  I say I love God, but does it show?  I know my faith is not based on works.  I am confident of it.  But the love of God is wider and deeper than my heart can ever hope to contain.  If His love is not overflowing from my heart, my claims of having His love seem hollow.

#4  "Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."  I long for this.  To turn this experiment, and thus my life, into one of action.  Words and good intentions flow freely from my heart in a nauseatingly unfulfilled sort of way.  Actions.  Truth.  Make these things mark my love for Jesus, and therefore my love for His people.

Shane Claiborne speaks my heart again, "...I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning.  And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end."

Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.  Begin with my heart and my actions.

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