Look at your bank statement. How many places do you spend money within two weeks? I looked at ours: 50. These last two weeks we’ve spent money in 50 places. For the next two weeks, we’re taking it down to 7.
Our 7 places:
– Walmart (includes gas and WM Home Office Cafeteria)
– Husband’s Karate
– Starbucks (it’s a serious addiction, I’ll conquer that in our food challenge)
– Restaurant A
– Restaurant B (restaurants to be decided throughout the two weeks, but I’m almost positive one will be Houlihan’s…)
– Wildcard (this could be anything we choose throughout the challenge – something fun or something serious that comes up)
I think this challenge is going to be very convicting. I’m such a consumer. I must consume something everywhere I go. How often do I buy a coffee at Barnes & Nobles just because, purchase a new necklace at a shop I’m perusing or download a new song on iTunes? Too often. Look at these facts and try not to cringe.
Annual U.S. Spending on Cosmetics: $8 billion
Basic Education for all global children: $6 billion
Annual U.S. and European spending on perfume: $12 billion
Clean water for all global citizens: $9 billion
Seriously? I feel sick. Think of the difference we could all make if we watch where our money goes more closely. We’re making a choice every single day with our dollar.
I’m not sure if you ever think this, but I certainly have before – Since I tithe and give to other good places, I can do whatever else I want to do with my money. How selfish am I? Who’s money is this really? It’s certainly not mine, so why am I spending the majority of it on things I want that won’t even matter in the end. Just because I can have it doesn’t mean I should.
With this much expendable income on movie theaters, restaurants, shopping, I doubt Jesus will accept my excuses for neglecting the poor on account of cash flow.
Instead of our American way of thinking and fearing poverty and simplicity, we should fear prosperity.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25
I know we’ve all heard this, but I hope these next two weeks we can really meditate on this fact and find ways to simplify our lives and use our money to love our neighbor as ourselves, just as Jesus would have wanted.
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“God, may we be focused on the least, a people balancing the fasting and the feast.”