So you don’t just wake up one day and decide, “I am going to be missional for the rest of my life.” There is a lot more to it than that. To tell a loving world about Jesus through our actions takes commitments and life change. While waking up and deciding that missional living is a good idea, certainly is a start, you will need to dig deeper to truly begin the journey. Last week I shared in my post A Life On Mission what missional living meant, how I became a huge fan of it and an invitation to join myself and my church on this journey.
So today, I want us to look at an important part of missional living, “Our Stuff!” The world has programmed us to think that stuff matters. We have to have a certain brand, look a certain way, live in the perfect neighborhood and drive this amazing car. I’m just like you friend, I have bought into the advertising lie. You would think I was smarter than that since I have a degree in Fine Art and Marketing and have worked with numerous Ad Agencies and marketed several products. Nope, I bought in, and if I am truly honest, I LOVE MY STUFF. I love that I can come in my office with all my pretty little matchy things on my desk, type on my Apple computer (which is the bomb diggity dog by the way), look out my upstairs window as I type and feel sincere happiness. I love it, but do I need it? That is the burning question. Is this desire to have nice things from God or amazing marketing. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to believe that it comes from the amazing marketing in our world.
What can we do about our stuff problem? I am not advocating that you eliminate everything you have, move into a shack and live off the land. I am not saying you can’t have anything nice, name brand or even splurge on occasion. However, I am advocating that we (you and me – I’m in this too) take a deep look into hearts, our debt and our spending. We have to understand that God is our supplier, the giver of our money and everything we have belongs to Him. He allows us to be take care of His stuff and money while we are here on earth. Unfortunately, many of us have done a very bad job of that and now we are bound by the debt we have created. Money and stuff should be used as a tool in our lives to be able to reach others. When we are consumed with enormous debt, we can’t be on mission for God the way He wants us to be.
This week, I want us to really think about this:
Does stuff matter to me? To get a good idea of how much stuff matters to you do this little exercise for me. Go to your closet and look at your clothing and shoes. Ask yourself these questions: 1) What brands do I see? 2) Did I buy this new? 3) How often do I buy new stuff? 4) How long have I had it? Now think to yourself: 1) Does the brand matter – does it make it better somehow? 2) Could I have bought this used 3) Do I need this much clothing and shoes? The answers to these questions will give us a good idea of where our heart is and how we view stuff.
Next Steps! Now that we have determined how we view our stuff, we need decide if we need to make some changes. More than likely, if you fully want to embrace missional living and have the extra income you will need to pour into people’s lives, you will have to make some changes. I know I do. I want you to pray and ask God to show you ways that you can take the first step in freeing up some of your income. I am in the process of writing several blogs on frugal living, generating extra income and freeing up our money. I can’t wait to share them with you.
Challenge! Okay so I have a challenge for us all! It scares me a little bit and my family was pretty resistant when I suggested it. For one week, I want you to order water (not bottled – sink water) every time you dine out. Then I want you to write down how much the drink would have cost you. Next Monday, look back and see how much you saved. It is amazing how we use our money for the instant gratification of things we don’t need rather than using it for something that matters like pouring into others lives, paying off debt, retirement funding or a college education for our kids.
Here is a great resource this week for you to check out. Alan Hirsch and Micheal Frost are amazing authors that can shed some great insight in the idea of being missional. I hope you enjoy this great read.
The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church
Looking for additional reading resources? Check out Missional LIving.
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