I hate to be largely absent from this week’s discussion (again), but, alas, life doth not stop for read-a-longs. A big ol’ bunch of my grandma’s descendants are gathering today to celebrate her 91 years of life on this earth and rejoicing that she’s hanging out with Jesus now, just like she was born to do.
She and Grandpa made some really great babies (and grandbabies and great-grandbabies), and out of their 100 descendants, there’s not a one I don’t like. That’s pretty spectacular right there.
We love you, sweet Grandma!
Chapter 6. Spending. It’s been awhile since I read this chapter, so I skimmed through just now and glanced at all the marks I made (this is how I can tell in 10 seconds what kind of impact a previously-read book made on me at the time).
Lots and lots of this: ***. And this: ****** (except I write them vertically in the margins). A bunch of “AMEN!” And some “hahaha!” And a few “same”s. Some “love”s. Several “yes”es. And lots and lots of smiley faces.
I very much liked this chapter. And I need more than one post to tell you how much. And I’ll probably talk less about actual spending (it’s amazing how much you don’t spend when your husband quits his job) and more about using our resources to love the poor (my passion, which you know).
So how about those Pharisees and the wealthy on pages 158-159? For starters, let’s recognize the fact that most of us fit in one or both of those groups more likely than not. I used to think that I most definitely did NOT, but there was a small (and by small, I mean gigantic) plank in my eye. Religious and judgmental about it? Check. Very, very, very rich compared to most of the world’s population? Check check.
And what does Jen point out? “Jesus never utters a positive word about the wealthy.” And “a brave believer admits, ‘He’s talking about me.'”
“It is terribly hard for us to receive His kingdom, harder than shoving a camel through the eye of a needle. That’s really hard. If this is true, more than fearing poverty or simplicity, we should fear prosperity.”
If tithing the minimum and consuming the rest is okay, then we can dismiss Jesus’ ideas and act obsessed about other stuff He said.”
“What if we are camels, on this side of the needle, dangerously content with our fake gospel and avoiding the actual Christian life described in Scripture?” (159)
I think this is a very, very important question to ask. Is my gospel fake?? Or, to put it more nicely, is my gospel missing any key parts?
And this next line got a “hahahaha!” next to it. “Today is a good day to steer clear from David Platt or Mother Teresa or Francis Chan or Martin Luther King Jr. And anything Jesus ever said. And the prophets. And the disciples. Or God.”
I’m a little bit of a mess right now. Missing Grandma. Super tired. We’ve had a crazy week on the Gabe’s-Mental-Health front (mostly good, some not). ON FIRE about caring for the poor. (Looking for something “fun” to watch on Netflix? Small Voices is a documentary about Cambodia’s street children, filmed right smack dab where the boys from the boys’ center live and work. And the precious children who live at the dump and scour through garbage and dead bodies for 50 cents a day. Oh, sweet Jesus, have mercy.)
I want so desperately for people to make the connection between how much we have and how much others don’t. How many children (25,000) die every single day because they don’t have enough to eat or the water they’re drinking is contaminated and filthy or they don’t have money for medicine or whatever it is that’s killing them AND DOESN’T HAVE TO.
“Never has so much wealth been so concentrated; our prosperity is unprecedented. If enough of us decided to share, we would unleash a torrent of justice to sweep away disparity, extreme poverty, and hopelessness.” (170)
Oh, friends, let’s unleash that torrent of justice.