26 December 2010

Conviction: Between a Rock and...

Well, you know.

One of the things that I struggle with in regards to service and giving is the discrepancy between what I have and need in material things compared to what others have and need in them.

In general, I have more than I need, and many people in the world don't even have the things they need to live, let alone live comfortably. I have all the food I could want to eat, clean running water, indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning, a car, money for gas, nice clothes, a laptop, beautiful jewelry, a room of my own, a phone and so many other things. In other parts of the world and right here in my city, there are plenty of people who don't have two cents to rub together, let alone all of the luxuries I live with.

Hence the struggle for me. How do I justify the excess that I live in when I know so many people in the world are hurting and hungry? And it's complicated by the way I feel about ranking and comparing: these people aren't better or worse than me, nor do I deserve more than they do, but it is still important that I help, isn't it?

Though it is still a day-to-day issue for me, here's my thoughts on the issue now.

First, God has given us many blessings, and he wants us to appreciate and enjoy them.
"There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families will eat and enjoy everything you’ve worked for, because the Lord your God has blessed you." Deuteronomy 12:7

However, as we've been discussing, it's important to love and help others:
"The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’" Matthew 22:39

So what it comes down to is balance. If I know there is something that I don't need or use, shouldn't I give it to someone who does need it? It doesn't mean I need to sell everything I have and give it all to the poor, but I shouldn't live in a mansion either.

What are your thoughts on this? I'm still so frustrated by the two! Leave a comment with your ideas or advice!

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