Monday, March 10, 2008
an open hand or wealthy in America
Yesterday, our pastor gave a powerfully convicting sermon about being generous. What was so convicting is that he spent a large part of his time proving how wealthy we really are compared to the rest of the world. It is something I know with my head. It is something I have known with my head for a very long time. However, Pastor R managed to convict my heart.
It is not that I am not thankful. I realize that am blessed beyond measure that I can stay home with my girls and that we can afford to send them to a Christian school. However, as I said to hubby after church. It is amazing how wealthy we are and yet how much we struggle financially. Yet, if I am honest. I make many bad decisions financially. I am improving but it is still a struggle. I've noticed that I find it easier to save money if I don't have to go anywhere. Imagine that! ;)
Another thing Pastor R mentioned, which had not really struck me quite the way he phrased it, was that "It is an incredible thing that the leaders of our country" (the grand old US of A) "think that the best way to boost our economy is to send people a rebate check and encourage them to spend it (rather than put it into savings or use it to pay off debt)".
Among the heartfelt statements that passed between hubby and I after church came several wonderful comments and decisions. My favorite comment from hubby is that 'It really puts our carpet into perspective.' I am glad. Our carpet is seriously revolting. It is nearly twenty years old. I know the previous owners had a dog and a three-year-old. I know we have a geriatric dog and have raised two children on it. However, I really don't want to replace it until the mess-making potential of children and dog (we will get a new dog when Willow dies) diminishes. :) I for one am happy to wait. :0
We also decided that we will take at least ten-percent of the rebate and send it out of the US through a Christian organization such as Samaritan's Purse or Compassion International. We will also do the same with our income tax refund. Thus doing our share to undermine the economy of the world's wealthiest nation. ;)
I feel I should postscript this with another comment about the sermon that hubby and I felt was powerful. Pastor R did not suggest we need to feel guilty for being wealthy. Only that we need to share what we have. Also, he did not suggest sharing what we had entailed giving to our church. He says where we share and give is between us and God. One thing about our old church that really bothered us was the insistence that giving should be to your church. It seems a bit self-serving to me.