Friday, June 10, 2011

Living radically

If you haven't read the book "Radical" by David Platt, I recommend you do so. Even more, I recommend you read it with your spouse. Josh & I are both reading it, & are only about halfway through, but it has caused many conversations between us. Reading it is much more impactful than my summary could ever be, so I won't even try. But here are some of the ways we are being challenged.

We have always been pretty frugal people (some may say "cheap"). But now we are considering - okay, when we choose not to spend our money on something, then what do we do with it? Are we frugal so that we can save save save? Or do we realize what eternal purpose that money could serve?

Now, the basis behind ANY question we ask is motive. Saving in itself isn't bad. Buying a house or a car or going out to eat aren't in themselves bad things. But when we save, is it because we are putting our security in our finances? We need a "safety net?" Is it taking away from our trust in the Lord, that He provides for all of our needs? Maybe. When we buy something, is it because the Lord is leading us to do so? Or because we want the new thing, the bigger thing?

We have, until now, thought that we would need to buy a new car soon - a new (used) SUV for me to truck our kids around in. I drive a small car & Josh drives an SUV with almost 150,000 miles on it. But what about me driving Josh's car until it dies? Well, I tell ya, I get much more excited about the thought of a newer car. But why?? I'm not saying we won't eventually buy a car. But we want our hearts to be in the right place. We want to be willing to sacrifice. We desire to live simply. We don't want our money to go toward "earthly trinkets," but "eternal treasures."

When we save money by not buying something, we are now challenged to consider where we might give it. We have always given money to our church & to other organizations. But maybe we should go above & beyond. Do we give out of excess, or are we sacrificing? God already gave us somewhere to give some money, & put it on Josh's heart for us to do so. I gladly submit to a husband who desires to give to something that will have eternal benefit!

I am also being challenged to consider my purpose. God wants to use us to make disciples; to change the world. Yes, being a wife & a mom is a huge calling that the Lord has placed on my life. But I know that's not all He has for me. & I want to be used where He wants to use me.

It may sound huge & lofty, all good & well, or it might sound crazy or legalistic. (Sidenote: One other thing I am trying to do right now is to make sure I'm not making "rules" for myself. As a rule follower, that is so easy for me. But I want there to be reason behind the things that I do.) Read the book! Platt's heart behind every word is that we might do what GOD wants. Die to ourselves that He might live through us. I am excited to see how the Lord is moving in our lives. He has GOOD things for us, & I want to be a part of it!!


Whitney said...

You know, that "giving out of excess" comment made me remember something someone asked me once.
It was when we were helping out with Feed More Than Hunger, one of the homeless ladies happened to have helped out with some data entry type stuff for the church. She had seen a check in a large amount written for the program by our church. She said she had,

"always wanted to meet someone from that church (our church) so she could find out... was that money just extra money people had lying around, or was it given because they really believed in the program?"

Made me think.

Giving out of excess you have is not BAD, but giving out of sacrifice makes more of an impact... in ways that you may never realize.

Thanks for the post, I have been contemplating reading this one; may have to pick it up!

Sandy said...

I read that book and Mike is reading it now. It stirred up those same questions for me too. I felt myself getting overwhelmed because there is so much need in the world. But like the book says--it is what God wants us to do--and dying to self is for everyday of our lives.

Laura said...

I wish we lived closer so we could visit and challenge each other in these things!