over the last 3 years i’ve had this urge inside of me to live differently. in the beginning stages it was a conviction on how big of a home i wanted, the food i was eating, the clothes i was wearing. there became in increasing awareness of how my decisions, the daily decisions, effected people around the world and even effected future generations. God was teaching me about creation care. He was revealing to me that the clothes i buy can support oppression. He was teaching me about the food i was stuffing my face with was not only killing me, but it was killing the world a little at a time. these were the steps i took that launched me into a whole new direction of life/spirituality.
so i became vegetarian. i started reading labels to see what countries the clothes were made in and researching if that country is fueled by oppressing it’s workers – many times young children. there has been this continual shift taking place. it’s like all of my decisions were placed on an old balance scale. one side for decisions that supported oppression and the other side for the decisions that actually took care of what God has entrusted me with. i wish i could say that it’s lopsided and the “creation care” side is hanging low, but it’s not yet. it is lowering hopefully with everyday, with every decision i make. one day i hope to live on a piece of land that is fully self sustaining. i want to raise my own cows, goats, chickens, sheep, have a beautiful garden full of vegetables. i want to make my own cheese for goodness sake. there is a desire within me today that i would have never seen coming. it’s all because of conviction. God is shifting my perspective from “me” to “everyone else”. it’s a tough pill to swallow but i love it. (a side note – thank you to The Fabulous Beekman Boys for inspiration beyond words.)
it’s shifting because more and more i’m living by my convictions. i feel as though i’m striving to make the decisions that show that i care for the things i see God caring for. i see God caring for future generations, so the decisions i make regarding the environment and what effects i have on it matter more than ever. if your grandchildren and my grandchildren are “my neighbor” then i need to live in the fashion that supports this belief. i must care for creation because if my actions are adding to the destruction of the planet for future generations my belief in the commandment “love your neighbor as yourself” is simply a nice thought.
belief must be supported with action.
belief without supporting actions is just talk – nothing more.
i don’t want to be the man who “talks” about what i believe. i want to live it in every facet of my life.
we tend to downplay caring for the earth for some reason. my hunch is we push this to the side because we would rather live by convenience than by conviction.
the largest killer of the american dream is living by your convictions. do i mean that i don’t think anyone shouldn’t be wealthy or pursue happiness? no. it’s what you do with that wealth that matters. i know wealthy people who are doing amazing things with what God has blessed them, but those people are few and far between. most people, wealthy or not, are more concerned with their bank/retirement account balance than what happens outside of their christian bubble. it’s hard to give away what you’ve worked so hard for. we have this sense of entitlement. for some reason, we’ve convinced ourselves that we are entitled to use “our money” the way we want. which, by the way, is a nice way of saying we are going to spend the money on something that makes us happy or more comfortable.
being uncomfortable is a good thing. what if instead of keeping 90% of our money we bring home and giving 10%, we kept 50% and gave 50% away to the needy or the church or wherever it would help someone? what would the world look like? what would your community look like? what would you teach your kids about Jesus? what would your kids learn was important in life?
in his latest blog, Baron Batch wrote about coming to Texas Tech University to play football as a freshman and he wondered “I wonder what my legacy will be when I leave here, I wonder if I’ll be the same?”
if your thinking… forget that – if your concern shifts from YOU to THEM, what will your life look like tomorrow?
i want to challenge you to begin to live by your convictions more than ever.
today may you look within and begin to search your heart.
may you welcome change with open arms.
may your soul be riddled with discontent until you live by the convictions God is laying upon your heart.
we can change the world. we have the means. but it’s like they say, “the proof is in the pudding.”
Grace and Peace