Thursday, August 9, 2012

don't stop

i'm in the middle of reading of book by craig groeschel wierd: because normal isn't working. his little message at the beginning says: "this book is dedicated to everyone who is sick of normal and is ready for something better." 
he's talking to those of us who are realizing that just because something is normal or majority (even/especially in the christian community)that doesn't mean it is right, fulfilling or biblical. 

he focuses on the topics of time, money, relationships, sex, and values. he feels like in those areas as americans, we have stopped aiming towards right or biblical and our goal has just become normal. is that true? i kind of feel like it is. it's killing us, i think. and everyone seems too busy to be happy, myself included. 

so far the book is great. really challenging. i suggest it. let me know your thoughts if you decide to read it or already have. 

anyway, i wanted to share a piece that got me from the section about money. specifically about being rich
we must go from the normal mindset about money and wealth to a radically weird view: gratitude for all we have and stewardship of its use for the good of all. this shift requires us to break out of our usual consumer framework and place ourselves within a global perspective. if you earn thirty-seven thousand dollars a year, you are in the top 4 percent of all wage earners alive today - certifiably rich by anyone's definition. if you make forty-five thousand dollars a year or more, you are in the top 1 percent of wage earners in the world. in order to honor god with your wealth, you have to admit that you are rich. most people won't do that. it's not normal. 
i'm thinking a lot about this and practicing it. saying "i'm rich". i said it to my mom yesterday. it feels weird at first but it's true. i am. you probably are.

then he goes on to talk about giving and its really great. he talks about spontaneous, strategic and sacrificial givers. i want to be a sacrificial giver. 

like the dad gum believers in macedonia who paul says were "very poor" but their joy "overflowed in rich generosity". that doesn't even make sense! they "begged" paul for goodness sake to share their gift with the jerusalem church! what in the world? that is sacrificial giving. the thing is, i can't imagine that they were sitting around thinking about what it would look like in their lives if they gave in this weird way. it was an impulse. a reflex. i want to learn to give like this. like a stupid idiot. like i truly believe that it is more blessed to give than receive. like i would be happier giving than getting. 

the only way to learn that is to do it. pray for me as i do. 

a quote to end with: 
sure, it's weird to believe that it's more blessed to give than to receive. but it's also the most life-giving, eye-opening truth about money that we can ever learn. do whatever you have to do to make your eyes generous.  

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