Someone was talking to me about our eating habits in the developed world. They said that here, we live to eat as opposed to eat to live. We like food. We like the flavours, we like to indulge, to treat ourselves. We like to dine at fancy restaurants and we like to binge at fast food joints. The point is, we eat a lot, and we usually think nothing of it.
The alternative is what the majority of the world do on a regular basis. They eat to live. They find the food they need if they can, and they continue to exist. That's not to say they don't eat nice food or celebrate and share in wonderful community times over food. Its not to say that eating in the developed world is function only. However, the excess and waste would differ I suspect.
I started to apply the same formula to money. Do we survive to earn or do we earn to survive? In other words, does our whole life and purpose revolve, or appear to revolve around our paid employment, or do we simply work enough so that we can live life? The reason I ask is that I see a lot of people working long hours and stressed to the max so they can maintain a certain lifestyle, and yet that lifestyle is really one of choice as oppose to one of need. And so the alternative is to earn as much as you need. This frees you up to do a whole load of stuff for God instead.
One couple in particular I know, gave up successful careers, and the chance at a choice lifestyle so that they could invest wholeheartedly in the mission God has for them. They are not stupid, or careless. They are very careful about how they commit themselves to their work. They make sure they neither put themselves, or their family in jeopardy, whilst also not robbing God of the hours that should be devoted to Him and His eternal purposes. They are an inspiration, and the fruit of their labour will be an abundance.
So I challenge you this week to think about how much you really need to earn, and discover whether this is God's plan for you. Perhaps you could shave off some hours and increase those hours at your corps/church? Think about it and talk about it with God. What an increase in capacity we would see if Christians all over committed more hours to Him.