My parents have also instilled the responsibility to be wise and frugal with my money. After living in a third world context, my husband and I desired a meager lifestyle until we returned to overseas service. We furnished our first apartment with furniture my dad had made or repaired from my mom's yard sale deals. As our life in America becomes more permanent due to my chronic illness, I find myself wanting and needing more especially when it comes to our house. It becomes tempting to look at what friends' have and to become dissatisfied with what God has graciously given us.
We've been reading Radical by Pastor David Platt in our Sunday School class at church. It's my second time reading the book and every time it is just as convicting as Platt challenges us to look to the Bible for how we should live, not "The American Dream". Since I'm unable to work now, we don't make a lot of money. We are basically using our savings or generous gifts from friends and family to pay our bills until either I get disability or my husband gets a promotion/better job. We don't eat out very often, we don't have cable TV or iPhones, and we don't have any debt (since we rent our house from my parents). We like to think we are living a minimalist lifestyle, but over half the world lives on less than $2 a day! We have electricity, running water, and plenty of food in our refrigerator....we are rich! So what if my almond colored refrigerator doesn't match my other white appliances amd my kitchen has ugly wallpaper? HGTV tells me I need a better house, but what does the Bible say?
"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:6-11
I recently listed to a sermon by David Platt found here (podcast #3 "The Gospel and Materialism Part 1") concerning this passage. How can we flee the temptation for more and better stuff? By being content in God. These are hard words. While the context of this passage is concerning material possessions, I've also considered would I really be content if I had this pain, but I didn't have my my nice tempurpedic pillow or my ice packs or my medication? Is God really enough for me? Would I be content if all I had was food and clothing? I'm praying for God to give me the grace I desperately need to be satisfied in Him alone.
**As an aside, I'm really excited about attending Secret Church via simulcast this Friday evening. It's a 6 hour long intense study of the Bible and prayer for Christians around the world who meet in secret to learn more about Jesus. Thankfully my Sunday School class is hosting it in one of our members' homes so I can bring my egg crate and lay on the floor to be apart of it. It will still be difficult for me as the nights are the most painful for me, but I'm looking forward to it. The topic is "Family, Marriage, Sex and the Gospel". Can't wait!