As the economy plummets, so does my satisfaction with all that I own. Does that make any sense? Suddenly, the luxury that I wake to every morning seems superfluous and wasteful. How dare I enjoy fresh, fragrant coffee every morning when millions of children don’t have clean drinking water? How dare I shoot an email, check the weather on my Iphone or use a washing machine, when millions of others live in illiteracy? How can I explain watching a movie while sitting in my favorite chair when some hungry, tired widow on the other side of the world doesn’t remember the last time she rested?
I’m really struggling with this. While the discrepancies between our lives seem unjust, simply depriving myself of the good things I have been blessed with won’t change everything. To be sure, there are many things I could give up in order to offer my surplus to someone in need. But where is the line between generosity, compassion, sacrifice and stoicism and false piety?
This week I have been pouring through the book of 1 John. I love this guy. His writing has its own flavor. John says the same things over and over. He loves to talk about beginnings. He loves to explain why he is writing – I especially appreciate that because “why” is my favorite word. And John loves to remind his readers of what they know.
As I came to 1 John 2, I found our prayer for this week. I’m asking God to reveal materialism in my own life and to overcome my worldliness. I want Jesus to be all my satisfaction – the foundation and overflow of my joy. So, I am memorizing 1 John 2:15-17.
Help me to overcome my love of the world and its things. Your word says that your love cannot be in the person who loves the world. The desires of the eyes, the desires of the flesh, the pride in possessions are not from you. Father, through Jesus you have given me eternal life, so the temporary, passing things of this world are incongruent with my station as your child. Teach me to do your will. Increase my love for you. Increase my faith. I love you, Lord.
“Prove me Oh God. Test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes and I walk in your faithfulness.” Ps 26:2-3