We can tell people to practice self-denial, but when everything we do caters to their felt needs as consumers (from their placement in small groups, to their participation, or lack thereof, in worship), our practice contradicts the teaching. It’s no wonder so many well-meaning church goers find the call to a cruciform life utterly incoherent.
When Jesus builds His church, He does the building by using disciples just like you. He has the authority to send you, and He goes with you. Through very imperfect people God works to create His perfect and beautiful Bride, the Church.
Pray that God’s will be done, and that He would build His church. Then stand on your feet, roll up your sleeves and by the power of the Holy Spirit, go and make disciples.
The Apostle Paul said it this way: “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor 12:9). You see, if we brag on our strengths, people may look at us and think, “I wish I were more like that … but I can’t be.” But if we brag on our weaknesses, that makes people think, “Wow, I have access to the same power that guy does!” Christians aren’t people who boast about their superior morality; they are beggars telling a bunch of other beggars where to find bread.
Dream a bigger dream than the American Dream. You didn’t think there was one? Let me challenge you to think again. Look at the problems debt has caused in our nation and in personal lives. What would your life be like if you could learn contentment? The Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever situation he found himself. He wrote: “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.”
For Michelle and I, minimalism helps us have a margin of time and money to work on projects that we feel called to do. “Living simple” isn’t what we glorify and celebrate—minimalism is a tool and a means to an end. We can’t afford to live the traditional, idealistic “American Dream” and still pursuing God’s calling on our life. We can’t have both, nor would we want both.
- Make it part of your job.
- First things first.
- Reframe circumstances by asking “Why?” five times.
- Create a “thinking hour.”
- Get moving.
- Have loose and tight goals.
The idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.
His idea bubbled into reality Monday afternoon, when Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer-service representative and salesman to a minimum $70,000.