It's been a while since I've written about The Difference Project. (Click on The Difference Project tab if you don't know what I'm talking about. Basically, I'm not buying clothes, shoes or any thing like that for 9 months, in order to give more away.) It's crazy to think that once I get back from Ethiopia I'll only have 2 months left. This project has become a part of my mindset. What began as a challenge has now been transformed into a full-fleged war against materialism.
Through this project I have seen my heart's desire for more. Materialism is a tricky beast. Once you obtain something, it feeds a desire for more. Luxury is leech that sucks up compassion. Surly, God does give us material blessings. Indeed we are blessed here in America, but our money is dangerous. It comes between us and God so easily.
Now you might think that you are ok. You are a good person and you really don't have a lot. I thought the same thing. But then I chose to do without just one luxury for 9 months. It revealed to me that I placed more importance on money, on having things than I thought. I asked God to reveal my heart and He did. I give so very little. He gave so very much. I saw that God offered to do more through me, if I'd just be willing to let go of things.
"Do you think a materialistic world can be won by a materialistic church (or person)?" - David Platt
I want to reach this world, this culture. How can I do that if how I live my life is no different from theirs? If I truly look at my lifestyle, what makes me different than my neighbor? If everyone saw my bank records would you see how much I spend on myself, or how much I gave? The Word says that wherever your money is, your heart is there as well. That's scary.
I think 2 Timothy 6:6-8 sums things up well: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
Am I really willing to be content with only the necessities?
The Difference Project is nearing the close, but I cannot go back to my selfish living before. I can honestly say that I never felt closer to the Lord after buying a new dress. Instead, a little pride would creep in. I'd feel good for a moment, but my souls became deadened for while. As I put more unnecessary items on the check out counter, another child dies of starvation, another woman sells her body to put food on the table and another man walks home from a day of hard labor for an unfair wage.
Thus, my fight against materialism continues. I don't know what "being content with necessities will look like for me. However, I do know I want my life to look more like this: