I was warned. Everyone I know that has read Radical warned me about chapter 6. When folks hear that I am reading and doing a study on the book they ask me if I have gotten to chapter 6 yet. Well I got there…thanks for the warning! I am kinda kicking myself this morning. I wrote a post last week about my sweet son and how he literally lived this very chapter…you know Chapter 6…out right in front of my very eyes. Go read it here…I promise this 9 year old boy will bless you with his "radical" decision. I knew that God wanted me to write that post last week…and it could be really easy to just repost that post and be done with it, but I know that would just be me taking the easy way out. Obviously God still has something for me to learn from this.
I must admit I have been sorta blind. Not completely, because there are times that things would pop up and I would struggle with all that we had, and how so many others had nothing. My concern for the poor really began to come out when my kids started school. You see, our kids go to a Title 1 school…which is basically a school with a large population of low income students. My kids saw other students that got food on Friday's to take home with them, because that was all the food they would get. We saw kids that had very little clothing…and it has broken my kids hearts…broken mine. But as a whole, I've been blind. We have nice stuff…we have lived the "American dream"…have our dream home…have computers, TV's, iPhone's, game systems, furniture, décor galore(I love to decorate), we have far more than we need. We are givers though. We give to our church…to people within our church…to people struggling outside of our church(there is a man down on his luck driving one of our vehicles as we speak…and yes I even struggled with that) …but yet, it still isn't enough and I can't bank on that giving to say I am living biblically. How much is enough?
This whole chapter said one thing to me…give. Give my money…give my time…my resources…my comfort…my possessions, so that I could give to the poor the way God CALLED me to. It isn't an option…I'm called. I can sit here and say that I'm all radical with our spending…with our money. I want to be, but I'm not there yet. I think that is my biggest inner struggle right now. I go back and forth…I one day think it's wrong to spend money on x,y, or z, and then the next day am rationalizing x,y, and z. So it's a process for me…but one that I am willing to take.
I loved the quote that Platt said about learning from John Wesley's life in that "our perspective on our possessions radically changes when we open our eyes to the needs of the world around us. When we have the courage to look in the faces of brothers and sisters whose bodies are malnourished and whose brains are deformed because they have no food, Christ will change our desires, and we will long to sacrifice our resources for the glory of his name among them". I guess that is where I am…I'm ready to sacrifice…sell it all to see His name get glory among the lost…the poor. God has truly taken those blinders off of my eyes…through his Word…through this book…through my little boy. We (meaning my family) can adjust our lifestyle for the sake of the gospel…it may not be "easy" (isn't that sad that I typed that…really…giving up unnecessary things is not easy while 26,000 kids will die today from starvation..I am ashamed...God forgive me for materialistic mindset), but it can be done. Can you adjust yours? Can we as a body of believers see the need…hear the scriptures and give?
No warning could have prepared me for the way I feel…right now. Right now as I type on this keyboard I have tears coming down my cheeks. I wanna change…I really do…God help me to live so radically that others would reap the reward of my radical living. I know one thing…I can't do it on my own strength…only through His.
I’m joining in the Radical Read Along over at www.MarlaTaviano.com. Come on over...