I'm trying my best to approach this week sacrificially and selflessly. I don't want to give away my possessions with wrong intentions. 2 Corinthians 9:7 is heavy on my heart. "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
This week, we're supposed to give away seven items a day. I'm pushing for a minimum of ten items a day, just because I feel like it would be so very easy for me to give away something like 40 t-shirts and then find nine random items in my bedroom. I don't want to skirt around this week just because I have a lot of stuff.
The challenge verse I'm memorizing this week is Acts 4:32, which says, "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had." This passage is describing the early Christian church and the hearts of the first Christians. I don't want to live my life pursuing the American Dream. I desire to view everything I own as God's and not as something to bless only me.
Day 1: Friday
Another story from this experiment would be from Ali. She normally wears three outfits every day: her nice work clothes, her casual/class clothes, and her exercise clothes. So she's been wearing the exact same thing every day for a week now. Perseverance! This brings Romans 5:3-4 into my mind, which says, "We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Wearing the same thing every day for a week probably shouldn't be considered suffering, but I think it is certainly bringing Ali perseverance, character, and ultimately hope that God's grace is so much bigger than our desire for excess!
Today was easy in the giveaway aspect. Picking ten t-shirts from my over-stuffed closet wasn't difficult at all, but it was much-needed. I'm putting everything in a hamper for now. During our Bible study today, Sammy and I agreed that since this is a hectic test week for the both of us, we're going to collect our giveaway items and give them away together on Friday, one week from today.
Day 2: Saturday
I feel like I don't have much to write, just because I have spent so much time studying and not a whole lot of time focusing on what I'm learning this week, to be entirely honest. I've been studying almost non-stop for two communications classes, math (my forever foe), and English. Four tests next week. And I'm feeling that stress.
It's funny because I've been reading and re-reading Matthew 6 because of the subject matter of the last few weeks of fasting. I need to apply this better to my focus on schoolwork and stress!
Matthew 6:25-33 says, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If this is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you - you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
That passage is so fitting for my pursuit of simplicity in regards to food, clothing, and possessions, but what about stress and anxiety in general? Life isn't based on my grades and my exams. I need to give all of these things up to the Lord and stop worrying about them. I should seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and focus on His sufficiency and provision in all things.
See, I suppose I am learning after all.
Again, picking out ten items of clothing was not very difficult. I know it will be more challenging for me towards the end of the week. My hamper is still running low on items.
Day 3: Sunday
Today was slightly more difficult, although not by much. The ten t-shirts I picked out were perhaps a little more valuable to me, but the sting was not deep. I am trying hard to be a cheerful and selfless giver. The clothes I am giving away I have not worn in months, if not a year. It absolutely should not bother me to give them up.
One shirt I'm giving away this week has a rather fitting message, don't you think? It says: "Life is greater than comfort." So very true.
My friend Jack texted me a song today as a form of encouragement. I don't even think he was aware of this possessions fast; the Lord spoke through him completely! The song is called "Love Through Me" by Jenny & Tyler. Listen to the lyrics. God has perfect timing, as always.
In terms of the clothing hamper, it's looking a little more full, which makes me happy.
Today I had the idea to set out a sign in my living room that says:
Perhaps the Lord will convict the heart of anyone who enters our house to pursue simplicity and generosity this week as well!
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