Oct28MonOctober 28, 2013
by Carolyn Majoran
I have spent much of 2013 in financial reflection. We began the year purchasing a new home and selling our old home. Much of this was prompted by God leading me to read Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love”. You can read our blog about it here if you missed it. Now that we’re settled into our new home and our new budget, I can’t help but think about the path that lead us to where we are today.
From the earliest days of our marriage, Ray and I have been on the receiving end of many blessings. Neither one of us had to deal with student loans (Thanks Mom and Dad!). Ray made good business decisions that lead us to be able to put a down payment on our first home. When we moved into our former home it was more than we needed but God brought people into our lives to fill it on many occasions. There are countless blessings; more than I can detail here.
Unfortunately, a stigma comes attached to many material blessings. At times it would even seem that there was an ‘us and them’ division. There were many times that I heard the statement, “Must be nice to have…” about one thing or another in or around our home. This brought on many years of struggling with shame over the material blessings that we had been given. In all honesty, this shame also played a part in my excitement to leave our old, larger home behind and live in a smaller, more average setting.
Ray and I are the kind of people that place no significant value on ‘stuff’. If we have something you need, just ask. If you need a roof over your head, we have a guest room. If you need food, come on over for dinner or let us take you out. If you need to borrow a car, you can use one of ours. The parts of our home that create our home are not the things inside of it but the people inside of it. My hope is that inside our home you will find people of character, followers of Christ.
I’m always astounded with the fact that North Americans, from the poorest to the wealthiest, are among the richest people in the world. An interesting website that I’ve visited a number of times is www.globalrichlist.com. On this site, you can view your annual income in comparison to the rest of the 7 billion people of the world. It is very sobering to see where we fit in the grand scheme of things. I’d venture to say that most of you reading this blog fit into the top 5% of income earners in the world.
But are we content?
I have been part of and have listened to more conversations than I can count about the stuff of life. So many times we focus on our last purchase or what we want our next purchase to be. We focus on the deficiencies in our home and not the fixes we have already made. We complain about the car that we have and dream of the car that we want. Is there ever a time where we can sit in contentment and enjoy the fact that we have no need to be fulfilled?
2013 was that year for me. To be able to move from a home that I loved and had dreamed about for years became a simple and quick decision. God broke down all barriers and attachments to the four walls of that house and brought me into submission to His will for my life. He removed any attachments to the things that made up my home. I hope and pray that the work He has begun in me will continue as He prepares me for the plans He has for me and my family.
As a young child I had a fascination with missionary work. At one time in my life I thought God was calling me to a life of overseas missions. I can’t say with certainty that He has removed that calling or not. I do know that He has placed within me a heart for His people to hear the gospel in their own tongue so that all around the world knees will bow and proclaim the name of Christ as Lord. If it’s not me going personally, I hope to be able to pass on much of what God has given to me to be able to help others go and fulfill God’s calling on their lives. My heart’s desire is not to spend my money or time on the temporal but on things with eternal significance.
We have been overwhelmingly and undeservedly blessed. I don’t simply speak of material goods either. If tomorrow came and all we had was taken away from us, we would still be overwhelmingly and undeservedly blessed because we have Christ. He is the only way to true contentment, true joy in our circumstances – regardless of what they might be.
Keys of Inspiration
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:12-13
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5