My Bible study group is smack dab in the middle of Jen Hatmaker’s study of the Seven Experiment: Stage Your Own Mutiny Against Excess. We knew it would be hard and that the number attending would dwindle. (Yep to both.) But oh it is so eye opening.
We have given up or only eaten certain foods for a week. (One of the foods I gave up was sweets. Lord help me.) We have worn the same 7 clothing items for a week (not counting underwear.) Little did I know the dressy shirt I picked had a giant hole in the arm. I wore it to church anyways. Us Americans are too picky about that sort of thing. Strangely, no one noticed (or pointed and laughed.) Last week we gave away 7 things a day. This one was harder for me than it normally would be since my family had donated trunk loads in the fall. I am holding onto my things for now so I can sell them and give the money to our project.
Once you are past a week in this study, things still come back. You see all the food you waste and how it is way too easy to say there is nothing to eat in front of a full pantry. You see how spoiled you are with three good meals a day and snacks galore.
You see how many clothes you have and how many you don’t even wear. The braver can even count how many items are in their closet. You see how fast you discard clothes because you have worn it a few times and are tired of it.
You look around your house and think about all you have that you don’t need. Things that have been there so long you don’t even see them anymore. And you realize none of it is really necessary. Do you have extra joy because of your stuff? Not for long. Could someone else use what you own or the money you spent on it? Most definitely.
I think this book and study are crucial to anyone who needs a shaking up, a wake up call. The American dream is crushing the hope of people in dire situations who have no food, clothes, or stuff. And the American dream is lying to us about what we need.
My new American dream is for us to have the necessities we need and a few things we want. It involves giving more with a happy heart. It means not rushing out to buy new stuff just because we can. My dream is to help other people with our resources and not hoard them. God gave us money and talents to share and be a blessing to others.
So let’s all look at how we treat what God has given us. We don’t need all that we have, but people are dying because they don’t have basic needs met. Let’s share, because a little of what we have would go a long way globally.
Linking with Faith Along the Way