Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spending More on What Matters

I enter Walmart for the third time in 32 hours. 

We need one thing: face paint to transform my son into an army man for a school function. I head to my target and throw two tubes into the cart.

Since I'm already here, I might as well grab some camo pants to pull the costume together. I blaze a trail to the clothing section. 

A reminder text from a friend, "Don't forget we're having soup at church tonight." No way are my kids touching that. Better swing over to the grocery section and pick up a couple of Lunchables. 

On the way to check out, I notice the new fall scented Glade plug-ins. My house has been smelling seriously funky lately. Artificial pumpkin spice would be a welcome change. Toss it in and get out before anything else finds it's way into the cart.

I went in for less than a dollar's worth of stuff. 45 minutes later I leave after spending over $2o. Anybody?! Multiply that scenario by 3 times a week and we're talking big money here. 

Looking at my receipt later, I thought of the verses that keep playing like a broken record in my mind:

If you spend yourselves 
in behalf of the hungry,
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your light will become like the noonday sun.
Isaiah 58:10

Considering how I spend my money, I'm investing myself on behalf of the wealthy, and satisfying the wants of the privilegedBecause to the world, my family is the wealthy. We are the privileged. 

And if you are reading this, you are too.

If your family makes $48,000 a year (the median in the US), you are in the top 1% of the world's population. That means you are richer than 99% of the world. Even if your income is half that, you are still in the top 2.24%.

Image via globalrichlist.com.

It's not even the fact that we're so rich that has me disturbed these days. It's that they are so poor.

29,160 human beings died of hunger TODAY. An estimated 22,000 of them were children. 

I look at mine and wonder what kind of agony it would be to watch them die of starvation. I close my eyes and my my mind because my heart cannot even go there. 

Already burdened with this image, what am I doing buying more junk that my family does not need? I'm not against face paint or plug ins. But when the accumulation of worthless rubbish robs my budget of the ability to help others who are starving, there might be a priorities problem.

According to worldometers, a real time world statistic website, 179 million dollars was spent on weight loss programs in the last twenty four hours. 

Ya'll, when we're spending that kind of money every day to shed the weight of our excess food problem, while 22,ooo children die of hunger...

I can't even.

And here's the part that really gets me. It's never taken so little effort to make a difference. We have the ability to read about the overwhelming need and in the same breath click a button sending funds to aid in alleviating it. We have the wealth and helping couldn't be easier. So, why isn't this poverty problem getting smaller? Could it be because our greed keeps getting bigger.

Jesus help us.

Does anyone else have the sense that we're really missing it? I do too. But I don't want to keep missing it. I want to start spending less on the worthless clutter our culture convinces us we must have. And more on what matters.

Like helping children take their next breath and live long enough to hear the name of Jesus.

Picture via www.alexshouseorphanage.org

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  1. I'm pretty passionate on this subject too. Several years back, I read "The Hole in our Gospel" and it truly changed me from being a dutiful giver to a truly cheerful one. It truly is such an honor to be able to give!

    1. My husband read that book, but I haven't yet. He said it was great.