I reposted about this topic in December, but I wanted to highlight the podcast, which I think is worth a listen. A while ago I chatted with my friend Nate about simple living and some discussion we had had on our blogs and others comments. It was quite interesting.
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For the original post, On Simple Living and living “a dollar above” the poverty line
This is the third time I am trying to write this post to clarify where my thoughts and views concerning my financial lessons come from. The reason I felt it was important to try and do this was because I feel like a few readers have misunderstood what I am saying and I want to try and make sense of it. Let’s just say I haven’t found the right words yet. Here is my third and final meager attempt.
I feel like some of what I have shared of views on finances have come across as a masochistic, vow of poverty, money is evil standpoint. That is not what I have intended by the things I have written.
I am not a masochist. I don’t like Pain. I don’t think Christ enjoyed pain either, yet for some reason he endured the cross. Like Christ there might be times we sacrifice at our own expense for the sake of others. When I say Christ calls us to give sacrificially I don’t intend 1) for that to be painful, nor 2) to do it for the pleasure of it being painful. If anything I am a hedonist. I believe God created us to love others and he has equipped us with the resources to do that in a lot of ways. I say we give sacrificially because we were created to.
I am not promoting taking a vow of poverty. Christ did say blessed our the poor, but I don’t think he meant we should all try to become poor in order to be blessed. I am not saying become poor for the sake of becoming poor. Yet, I should be open to the possibility that my following Christ call to love and give to the needs of others might result in my becoming “poor” by the worlds standards. Jesus did not tell the rich young ruler to “become poor” but he did tell him to sell all his possessions to meet the needs of those around him. I need to be willing to go there if I am going to carry out Christ call on my life to love those around me.
I don’t believe money is evil. When I say we should practice giving away our money with out so much concern for whose pocket it ends up in I don’t mean to do it because money is bad and you might as well stick it through a shredder. (I should have said buy a bunch of bottles of Root Beer and candy bars and leave them in odd places through out the town). Money is simply a means of trade. We should be sure not to elevate it too highly. God calls us to be a good steward of what he has given us, and I have every intention of doing so. God also calls us to love our neighbors and care for their needs, and I have every intention of doing that as well. These both involve money, but I don’t think they are in conflict with one another.
I’ll leave you with this word picture that hopefully will help you understand my perspective. One day your walking along and God shows up and says: “You are my child and you can have anything and everything in the entire world that you would like.” This is better then winning a million bucks, it’s better then getting a genie and three wishes, you can have ANYTHING. A couple of things to keep in mind though. God says you should love your neighbor as yourself and we’ve got 6 billion of them. He is also not going to make things out of thin air, what you choose is from what is available on the earth currently. The more I take the less that is available to others. And by the way there is a big line behind you (6 billion) of God’s children who are going to choose from what’s left when your done.
So what do you choose?
This podcast I brought a guest speaker in, Nate Manaen, all the way from Las Vegas (He joins us in the study, from inside my cellphone). The topic being discussed was originally brought about by some post Nate put on his Xanga a week ago. You can read his two post and some of the comments here: post 1, post 2.
Here is the podcast.
Please post your comments and thoughts below or on my xanga or Nate’s.
p.s. If your an audio junky, get the quality downloads here.