For Christmas, I received my first Beth Moore Bible study. I was ecstatic. I've been wanting to do one for months - ever since I found out how good they are.
As I sat down to begin, I started by journaling a prayer. Completely unrelated thoughts started pouring through my mind. They went a little like this (taken from my journal):
"Our society tells us to focus on us and our happiness, our comfort, our contentment. Look at our blog posts, our businesses, our hobbies - they're all about the things we love, the things we enjoy... even I have been obsessed with those things. When I don't have them, I crave them desperately. It's almost like my soul dies. I go crazy, it pains me. I mean, heck. Aside from it being Your will, I moved to Colorado because of the spiritual connection and comfort I get from the mountains. I moved 2,000 miles away from home!
The minute something disrupts our comfort, we cry out. I even hold onto certain desires because...I don't dare risk the possibility of not obtaining them. Of course, the possibility is always there, but I don't dare entertain the thoughts because a future without them is too dismal. When I think about my future, I always include the condition of making enough money to afford these comforts, because I have placed such a high priority on them.
(Living for our comfort)... is what everyone does. It's "The American Dream." Its why X (name withheld) buys a 65 inch TV when he's upset, and why the majority of Americans have credit card debt (myself included). It's why we all have to drive nice cars and live in big houses when there are people in our own country who are starving. And then we turn our eyes aways when we are asked to give money to the poor."
Ok, so I was on my "soap box" when I was journaling - but it's a valid point.
And I feel that way very strongly. As I was writing that, the idea came to me to "give away the excess."
Not to give away so much that you can't pay your mortgage or feed your family.... but give away the excess. Give away the extra that you would spend on going to a movie, going out to eat, or buying a 50th sweater. Now, I don't own close to 50 sweaters, so please forgive me if I buy one more. I'm not suggesting anyone give away so much so as to withhold from themselves the provision God has blessed them with for the purpose of provision. What I'm suggesting is that we give away the excess.
Because, hey - do you know what America is filled with? Excess. And even those of us living from paycheck to paycheck and classified as middle class have more than some people will ever see in a lifetime. And we are still filthy rich compared to the millions living in Third World countries.
So, do you remember in the previous post when I said I had an idea for a nonprofit ministry brewing? This is it. Because I firmly believe that this needs to be a movement (if it's not already - maybe I'm not aware of somebody else trying to do the same thing, which is altogether possible).
Have you ever read the book "Crazy Love"? This kind of builds on that concept. Have you read the book "Radical"? It's going to be my next book when I finish Love and War, but I think it's the same kind of concept. When you think about the the way Americans live, the standards of American society - consistently giving away the excess would truly be radical.
So this is it - my first of what I hope to be a continuous call to Give Away The Excess.