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Author Topic: You will have to pick a side. There is no longer Room for Procrastination  (Read 5251 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution
Re: Disagreements on the Doomstead Diner
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2015, 03:51:01 pm »
RE, if you have anything to say, you had better apologize to me first for claiming my "arguments don't hold water". Otherwise, I hope God teaches you to pray this prayer before you die. You have never learned the meaning of a life well lived as long as you celebrate having a large ego.

Proverbs 30:7-9

7 O God, I beg two favors from you;

let me have them before I die.

8 First, help me never to tell a lie.

Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!

Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.

9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”

And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

What happens when we get a raise? Say you got a 3% raise this year. For most people, this is what happens: your spending goes up by 3%, or more. We get more; we think we can keep more. The Bible says that there's a big problem with this. It makes us less dependent on God. But there's another problem. God doesn't give us more so that we can be a blessing to ourselves. God gives us more so we can use it for others. We're supposed to use it to help others, not just to help ourselves.

Then Jesus talks about how God will take care of us. We won't read it, but it's a good passage to bookmark for when you're feeling financially stressed. Basically, Jesus says that we don't have to be greedy, or worry about money, because God will look after us. He says in verse 30:
"These things dominate the thoughts of most people (a very true statement), but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."

We don't have to get stressed about money, about having enough, because God always looks after his kids. Jesus says, "So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32). It's almost like Jesus is saying, "What more do you need? "Then Jesus says the most amazing, disturbing thing. You'll probably do what I did. I looked at the footnotes, in the Greek, to see if there was something that said, "Just kidding, guys." I looked for the loophole. It seems like one of those hyperboles, an exaggeration, something that he couldn't possibly mean for us to take seriously. Jesus says in verse 33 says,
"Sell what you have and give to those in need."

He doesn't say sell all that we have. But he does say that we should get rid of some of our stuff so that we can help others. I think Jesus really means this. We have way too much stuff. We even curse it sometimes. We run out of space to store it all. We rent self-storage lockers to pack it all away. We pay monthly fees to store stuff away that we don't even use. When we clean our houses, we mutter about all the stuff we have to move to dust - stuff we don't even like. We have so many clothes that there are some things we haven't worn in ages, and not because it doesn't fit. Jesus says, get rid of it. Take that second or third computer and give it to someone who could use it. Donate it to a computer lab. Get rid of your stuff, and give it to someone who could use it. Cash in some of your investments and give it to somebody who's struggling financially.

It's hard to know who benefits most when we do this. Jesus mentioned that we'll be helping those in need if we do this. But you get the impression that he was more focused on what it would do for us. It makes us less encumbered by all our possessions, less attached to physical stuff. Jesus said in verses 33-34:

This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no holes in them. Your treasure will be safe-no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.

Following his instructions may help the poor. It may give some needed resources to charities and people who really need it. But it also does something for us. It frees us from the encumbrances of possessions. It makes us more dependent on God. Here's the point. Treasures aren't just to be stored up for our own pleasure.

Whenever God gives us more than we need to get by - and that's almost all of us - we need to realize that we're facing a danger. The danger is that we'll get greedy and want more without even knowing it, and we'll end up enslaved to the stuff rather than using it to benefit others. The goal, I think, isn't for us to feel guilty, or to skip going out for lunch today.

The goal, though, is to aim for a modest lifestyle that benefits others. The goal is to live in such a way that it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to lose everything we own, because what really matters can never be taken away.

Here's what I didn't know. I didn't know that I have enough. I'm rich. Almost all of us are. We live in luxury, compared to history, compared to most of the world. We all make way more than we really deserve. We may not think so, because we compare it to others we know, or what's on TV. Even the poorest of us has resources that many could only dream of. What we have is more than enough. 98% of us have more than we need just to get by. I didn't know that there's a danger in having more than enough. This is the goal of pretty well everyone in North America: to have more than we need to get by. I didn't know that there's such a danger in having so much.

The greatest indication of that is that we don't know how much we have. Despite our riches, most of us feel financially strapped. We're making more money that ever before, but we don't know it. Remember the definition of greed? It's wanting more of what I already have enough of. I didn't know that I'm probably living a life of greed, without even being aware. I also didn't know that the excess was given for me to share. I didn't know, but I do now.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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