Friday, 16 December 2011

Leftovers

N.B. All of the following 9 blogs are because I am reading ‘Do Nothing, Christmas Is Coming’ by Stephen Cottrell, ‘an advent calendar with a difference.’

“I remember someone saying they would like to discuss their spiritual live with me. ‘That’s fine,’ I replied. ‘Please make sure you bring your credit card statement with you.’ They were slightly taken aback. ‘It was my spiritual life I was hoping to discuss,’ they began. ‘Well,’ I explained, ‘whether we like it or not, what we do with our money is the clearest possible indicator of what we think our spiritual life is actually about.”

Yesterday at College the 2nd years were discussing the whole idea of giving and possessions. I was in one of the study rooms when one of the learning groups came and joined us as they had been sent off to discuss a few questions. I remember studying that topic last year, and being somewhat of a devil’s advocate. Not many of the class agreed with me then, and there is a real possibility that few of them ever will. Because what I believe challenges the lifestyle that so many 21st century Christians live, and despite ‘subscribing’ to the views of Jesus church – few are prepared to actual live the lifestyle that we are called to.

Few are willing to live as radically as their beliefs would have you assume. That is not a dig at Christians who are not prepared to give up home comforts for the adventure of a gospel-lifestyle – I am sure they are gifted and show devotion to Christ in other ways. But it is a challenge – to realise that the comforts of today and tomorrow are nothing compared to the glory of forever. Some Christians would rather eat biscuits today, because they cannot wait a few years to visit the biscuit factory. (Stupid analogy but helpful in highlighting the point.) Jesus promises that whatever we give up in this world, we will be given, and more, in heaven. There is nothing that God has created that can give us greater pleasure than God himself.

So this Christmas, when you are buying things that you believe may enhance your life – think instead of giving the money to help others – and collect your reward in heaven instead.

DNCIC recommendations for today:
·    Get out your credit card statement and your bank statement and see where your money actually goes.
·   Is there a standing order for charity? Or is charitable giving a matter of seeing what’s left over?
·    Make sure you give at least one gift to the poor this Christmas.

“Generosity isn’t measured by how much you give; but by how much is left over when you’ve finished giving.” Richard Inwood
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