Starting last spring I have been going to the early church in OCP on Sunday mornings. It really stretches me. I definitely have stepped out of my comfort zone on many occasions by going there. But I can't stop. I think I love it. I think I like being challenged because I don't feel like I belong or that I am not like all the other "hippie", simple living, really different folks that attend. When I have gone to other churches around Harrisonburg I feel too comfortable. I understand too much, I am not forced to think differently or accept people who are so different from me. I won't let myself stop going to OCP. It's not a pride thing, I really feel like I should continue going there, I like it especially on mornings like today.
I am really wrestling with something. Brief recap on what we talked about at this mornings service: Luke 19- Zacchaeus the wealthy tax collector and Jesus staying at his house.
It launched us into a talk about giving up our possessions. What is poor? What are we holding on to so tightly?
I gotta tell you it was so convicting for me. Normally when topics like this come up I can brush it aside because I am in debt, going to school, leading Wyldlife so giving money there or my mom really struggles with financial ish or I am not nearly as bad as others around me. But this morning, sitting in that room with SO many people who don't have much, or are already living so simply or giving up so much and even they are talking about how much they have or how tightly they hold on to their material possessions really hit me in the face. I spend money on so much stupid stuff!!!! I care so much what people think about me and how I look that I buy new blouses or scarves or shoes or whatfreakinever! There are so many things that I convince myself I "need" or that are "mine".
I literally did not enjoy the discussion after the message today because I knew it was truth and it was a truth that I was not living. I kept trying to find loop holes to how it did not apply to me. I was so convicted (not guilty, this was all Biblical stuff) and I mean HOW MANY TIMES does the Bible talk about money being the root of all evil, or it being terribly difficult for a rich man to get into heaven, or selling our possessions to give to the poor or not storing up our treasures on earth...that isn't just a fairy tale!!!! Those aren't just nice thoughts!! We can rationalize all we want why we have what we have or how we deserve it or how it's not that bad to buy new stuff or how we already give this or do that but the bottom line is NOTHING IS OURS. EVERYTHING ON THIS EARTH IS THE LORDS. That really hit home for me.
But I know that with this revelation comes my knowledge and fear that I might start to live differently but then judge all those who don't. I really don't want to turn into a prideful person or think I am better because I shop at thrift stores or let people borrow my car or donate money etc etc. Even though I may believe living that certain way we talked about this morning is what God wants, I can only be responsible for myself. As Ron said (the pastor) I can't point out the dust in the eye of someone else when I have a plank in mine.
So I am not declaring my drastic transformation to how I will now live, but I really don't want this to fall to the wayside. I believe so much that our minds have been warped by this world to believe that money isn't bad. We have turned so many accessories into necessities it's unbelievable to me. I have lived around people and been surrounded by a culture that has never shown me how other people live, or what it looks like to be content with little and then to even be generous with that little. No good comes from cherishing material things, I don't care what it is.
And even as I type this in my mind I am thinking of people I know who have a lot or buy whatever they want and it's stupid for me to judge them. I need to only focus on how I can change and that worrying about others sins (or whatever that sound harsh I dunno) does nothing good but create dissension and judgment and all that crap in my heart.
Anyway, basically I am going to let myself take baby steps. I am going to be more conscious of how I spend my money and how I look at my possessions as "mine". WHAT MAKES US THINK WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ANYTHING? ARE WE SO DESERVING? EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD. LOOK AT SOMETHING AND IT'S HIS.
Anyway, I am clearly very fired up about this and need to pray that it doesn't die down because I believe this is truth and God has called us to live differently.
Maybe after I digest everything from this morning more and pray about it I can come back in a week or more and see how I feel and how I will make changes.
I pray the Lord really keeps this revelation in my heart and on the forefront of my mind. I believe it will be freeing when I finally do start letting go of 'stuff'.