Lent, and Less Money Spent

It happens so subtly…the gradual increase in the standard of living…living apart from the reality of the poverty of the other 98% of the world. When I am not living amongst those that don’t know where their groceries are going to come from for the week, or don’t know how they are going to pay the electric bill and keep their heat on in the dead of winter, or where they are going to get a winter coat for their kid…when I’m not living in a place like Newark, NJ where the physical needs are so evident I start to drift into this false reality.

The false reality that everything given to me is mine. Instead of a blessing to be sacrificially poured out for others.

The false reality that there are not people, just like me, desperately trying to figure out a way to feed their kids, or get them into some sort of schooling, or keep their baby alive from the tyrant of malnutrition.

The false reality that this luxurious life, and neighborhood, and standard of living is the norm, instead of the exception.

The false reality that I should indulge now, instead of store up treasures for the life to come, which will last forever.

This is what Lent is for. Lent- a time of fasting, self sacrifice, of sober heart preparation to gaze upon the Son of God who forsook the luxurious of heaven itself, relinquished his rights, and gave Himself up to the point of giving His very life on the cross. All to gain an eternal reward of rescuing you. And me. And that mamma in Africa who loves her kid just as much as I do mine, but can’t find food or health care to keep her baby alive.

This is where money spent, and Lent come together to shake off those mirages, that dream world of indulgent living which will pass like a vapor.

So in this season of Lent, I propose a challenge…a challenge for myself and for anyone willing to take it on. A challenge of abstaining from “extra” spending…not defaulting on the car payment, but those cups of coffee, or that cute shirt that caught your eye in the store, or getting nails done, or the swinging through the drive-thru when a sandwich at home could have done just fine. How much money do we really spend on all these quick indulgences…money that could be helping someone in desperate need. Money that could have served Kingdom, eternal purposes, but instead serves my flesh. I will be keeping a tally of each time I would have bought that cup of coffee or just eaten out when I could have packed a lunch….and my guess is that I will have enough money to have sponsored a child with World Vision

Or start supporting that missionary family raising money to spend their lives to show the glorious riches of Christ to a people who haven’t heard the name of Jesus.

Jesus Himself endured the cross for the joy set before him…will I merely abstain from the non essentials so that I may have the joy of having invested in eternity and been hands and feet of Christ to hurting, needy people on this planet?

Here we go, into a 40 day season of Lent, and of less money spent…on that which is fading, so that I can spend it on that which is eternal.

Would you join me?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Lent (A Little Late): The best thing to give up for Lent | ...to the least of these...

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