March 6, 2012
Excellent points here, especially the statements about God wanting us to "use resources wisely" and "delighting in the good gifts He has given us."
I am still trying to disentangle myself from my stuff but I don't want to become smug about embracing a simple lifestyle. I don't want to replace greed or gluttony with pride.
Besides scripture talks an awful lot about abundance. I have a feeling I might be freeing myself of my stuff so God can complicate my life with His stuff rather than making it simpler.
I think anything can become an idol because our natures are prone to that. Frequent self-evaluation of our motives, actions, and the consequences can be humbling.
Dare I say I think all Christians should seek to live with less? We live out the extravagance of God by realizing that everything we have is a gift; contentment comes by realizing God will never leave us or forsake us; by giving extravagantly to others who have little; and, when we may spend, by trying to balance it with justice to God's created order and to people.
For me, this means spending very little, making it a priority to buy good quality used items, repairing and limiting my possessions, and taking joy in giving rather than getting.
This was a really well-done article (and timely) article; thank you for sharing it. One point that came up for me was whether a drive to live cheaply is robbing others of their livelihood. I think it is important to provide people with a fair price for fair services rendered, particularly if we know that money is going to the workers producing the thing. Sometimes the price can be so low that it's virtually impossible to produce it without relying on unfair labor practices and other types of exploitation.
The trick, of course, is figuring out how to pay a fair price so the money goes to the people who produced it, not just the company. I also think there is a real difference between living with less and needing to find the cheapest product. (One or two pairs of trousers, well but simply made, is probably cheaper and better than five pairs of Walmart slacks...)
Add your comment to join the discussion!