One of the Most Counter-Cultural Things the Church Can Do

November 28, 2014

I have come to believe that one of the most meaningful and counter-cultural things we can do in this society is to be content with what we have. To opt-out of the constant search for more and better. To make a choice for less. And I believe that this choice can not only change us, it can change the world.

I believe that our hearts were meant to yearn for something more, something that is not available at the local shopping center.

I believe that stuff begets stuff and we rarely realize how much we have until we decide that we have enough.

I believe that our culture has fallen for the lie that we can have safety and security and identity in our possessions. We can't.

I believe that time is too short and too precious to spend buying, sorting, cleaning and organizing things we do not need.

I believe that when we clear out the things that don't matter, we make room for the things that do. That when we get rid of stuff we make room for people and life.

I believe that contentment is contagious. By living and thriving with less we challenge the status quo.

I believe that this commitment to less is one we make again and again.  Stuff ebbs and flows from our life, too much can so easily creep back in.  But the commitment to contentment can be made afresh as often as need be.

It's not about sparsely furnished lofts with walls painted white. It's not about counting my items to meet an arbitrary goal or having less than others. It's not about martyrdom or masochism or lashing our hearts into submission.

It's about love.

As a christian I believe that a simple, content life is an act of worship in response to the gospel. The same God who made provision for us today made our neighbour in His image.

The God that gave us our daily bread instructed us to share it.

Here's what I know for sure: The world cannot afford the American dream. Our over consumption is destroying the planet and taking lives.

And the more we fill our home and lives with things the more we are desensitized to the world in need.

By choosing contentment we reject the idea that the answer to our problems is always a credit card swipe away. We reject the lie that our God-crafted longing for beauty can be fulfilled in a store full of sparkly dishes and trinkets. We say enough is enough.

I too often get distracted by the things of this world. I get caught up in the desire for a joy-filled Christmas or a cozy, inviting home and somehow forget that these are not things that can be bought at a store. These are not things accomplished by having more.

I confess that I often crave more of this world instead of more of God.  But I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I want to put my last penny in the poor box and give away the coat on my back. I dream of a book-of-acts style community that shares until no one has need.

May we be a people who are content. Who live simply so that others can simply live.


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