Tag Archives: possessions

Pence’s piety paradox

The Piety Paradox: America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior. http://www.marioninstitute.org/node/230 God's Political Party: The Ten Commandments of our Party of God. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540924605219994639/ “The fruits of Christianity were religious wars, butcheries, crusades, inquisitions, extermination of the natives in America, and the introduction of African slaves in their place” - Arthur Schopenhauer

Actions speak far louder than words. And the reality is that no amount of lying can cover up the lack of love, caring and compassion that is missing from this man’s life. Christianity is not a cloak of respectability to be worn to cover immoral actions.

reality check

I have a real issue with this. We live in a world where over 20 of our family still die every day from hunger.  This, therefore, strikes me as obscene.

I think of myself as a practicing Christian, and for me such inequality is a matter of both basic morality and faithfulness to the teaching of Christ. Allowing any to starve, or even go in want, is unacceptable when we have means to prevent it.  It is wrong on every level.

Facts such as these serve as a reality check. Such disparity is a clear indication that we refuse to accept we are one family. Such statistics also demonstrate that calling ourselves followers of Jesus Christ is far different than living as one.

 

 

living & giving

We live in a world where hunger can eradicated in the next 15 years. That’s a fact, not an opinion. Why, then, are not those of us claiming to follow the Prince of Peace doing all in our power to make it happen?

We live at a time when the gulf between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. Why, then, are we are have been taught that the worship of wealth is idolatry bowing before our bank accounts and continuing to pile up our possessions?

We live in an age where so many of our leaders insist we live in fear and hatred of our neighbors. The Jesus portrayed in the Gospels taught just the opposite. As His followers, as his disciples, we are to be known by our love for each other.

Our faith, what we truly believe in, is demonstrated by how we live. Our lifestyles, the daily choices we make, determine the true depth of our discipleship.

This powerful quote by Cory Booker sums it up. Talk is cheap. We show the world what we believe by the way we live.

frugality is a beautiful word

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet it is one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumptive society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. — Elise Boulding

We live in a world obsessed with acquisition and consumerism. It’s an obsession that pervades every aspect of our lives.

In a world where more is better and “super-size it” is a way of life even a mention of frugality seems awkward and out of place. Yet Boulding is absolute correct when she points out that there is a far deeper happiness, even a true joy, in not having things.

The more material possessions we have, the more our life is controlled by them. We actually become the possessed rather that the possessor.

True joy can never be achieved through more stuff. Trust me on this. It is just never going to happen.

Here’s an easy challenge. Go through your closet and take out two or three shirts/blouses that you haven’t worn in a year (or three). Do the same with just a couple pair pants that you know no longer fit. Throw in a couple pair of old shoes you know you are never going to wear. Give them away.

Not only will someone in need benefit from your donation, you will experience the joy of giving. You will also have a little more room in your closet.

Repeat the challenge until you are comfortable with the idea that less is really more, and that frugality is indeed a beautiful word.

and the flames dance higher

 … those who have little are not equally held in subjection by their possessions as those who overflow with affluence, for then the love of it becomes more tyrannical. The increase of acquisitions kindles the flame more, and renders those who possess them poorer. 

This quote is from The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople, on the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. and is a good illustration of why he Archbishop was known for his eloquent speech and his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.His concern for the poor can be seen in many of his homilies as well as other writings.

This is the second post on the Archbishop. Yesterday’s post, “a greater work than raising the dead, was the first. I will be sharing several more over the next few days and weeks.

In this statement the Saint attacks the materialism  of the affluent. Echoing the words of Jesus that no one can serve two masters, the Archbishop tells his readers that the more possessions one accumulates the more those possessions own the possessor.

This admonition of Chrysostom rings even more true today. How many of us are bent double by the heavy load of our possessions? How many of us feel the oppressive weight, the tyranny, of more, of bigger, of better. And, we have to have it now.

The more we acquire the more we must have…and the flames dance higher.

 

 

humble hearts of service

Glorious Lord,

You are wondrous to see and know. Your glory outshines the purest gold or the clearest diamond.

Take away our pride in possessions, Father, and give us humble hearts of service and compassion. Help us not place our hope in the uncertainty of money, but in you, who graciously gives us everything we need.

Make us rich in good deeds and in helping others, which you have created us to do. Tune our minds and souls to the same frequency as yours so that we don’t overlook the poor, the hungry, and the destitute.

Focus our eyes on the opportunities that come our way every day to touch others with your grace and truth. Help us to avoid the dangers of wealth and to grasp the joys of service.  Amen.

A prayer from M. Norvel Young, Co-Chairman, Board of Directors, Union Rescue Mission, taken from for they shall be fed, edited by Ronald J. Sider.