01 April, 2009

Earn to survive

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.

Good times,


Anonymous said...

I agree with your point Gen about earning to survive. I think that attitude allows us to live a much more fulfilling life. I also see value however in understanding every aspect of our life, including paid work as our ministry. I think we underestimate the essence of the concept "ministry" when we start to squeeze it into the "extra cirricular" parts of our lives. Everyday things are just as much mission as the time we spend at church/ corps.


JUSTsalvos said...

I agree, and I have been a little flippant in my remarks. But I do think a problem occurs regularly when we call our work, 'ministry' but don't treat it that way. So, by all means, make paid work your mission field, I am all for that! And your life should be holistic and intentional. But I think on the whole, most people use that line as a bit of a cop out to not get involved in the more challenging stuff in their community. And when I say church/corps, I mean all the stuff you are doing within 'your' community/mission field (sorry, that was a bit christianese!)
But thanks, I totally take the point. I don't think our mission should ever be extra curricular, or broken into sections, and it is often this way.
Thanks Melissa!