Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Difference Project: Months 4-7

It's been a while since I've written about The Difference Project. (Click on The Difference Project tab if you don't know what I'm talking about. Basically, I'm not buying clothes, shoes or any thing like that for 9 months, in order to give more away.) It's crazy to think that once I get back from Ethiopia I'll only have 2 months left. This project has become a part of my mindset. What began as a challenge has now been transformed into a full-fleged war against materialism.

Through this project I have seen my heart's desire for more. Materialism is a tricky beast. Once you obtain something, it feeds a desire for more. Luxury is leech that sucks up compassion. Surly, God does give us material blessings. Indeed we are blessed here in America, but our money is dangerous. It comes between us and God so easily.

Now you might think that you are ok. You are a good person and you really don't have a lot. I thought the same thing. But then I chose to do without just one luxury for 9 months. It revealed to me that I placed more importance on money, on having things than I thought. I asked God to reveal my heart and He did. I give so very little. He gave so very much. I saw that God offered to do more through me, if I'd just be willing to let go of things.

"Do you think a materialistic world can be won by a materialistic church (or person)?" - David Platt

I want to reach this world, this culture. How can I do that if how I live my life is no different from theirs? If I truly look at my lifestyle, what makes me different than my neighbor? If everyone saw my bank records would you see how much I spend on myself, or how much I gave? The Word says that wherever your money is, your heart is there as well. That's scary.

I think 2 Timothy 6:6-8 sums things up well: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."

Am I really willing to be content with only the necessities?

The Difference Project is nearing the close, but I cannot go back to my selfish living before. I can honestly say that I never felt closer to the Lord after buying a new dress. Instead, a little pride would creep in. I'd feel good for a moment, but my souls became deadened for while. As I put more unnecessary items on the check out counter, another child dies of starvation, another woman sells her body to put food on the table and another man walks home from a day of hard labor for an unfair wage.

Thus, my fight against materialism continues. I don't know what "being content with necessities will look like for me. However, I do know I want my life to look more like this:


A Lost Feather said...

I definitely want to try to go for a certain amount of time without buying any unnecessary items. i often feel conflicted .. i don't want to spend money on things i don't need while other people are suffering, but then i don't want to deprive myself allll the time either. i guess i'm searching for a balance. after reading what you had to say about your experiment with out buying extra things i'm really interested to see how i'll do. maybe at the end of a trial i won't feel like i'm being deprived when i don't bring that cute shirt up to the register :)

anyway.. good for you!

a girl with a smile said...

This is exactly what my heart is beating for right now. Have you visited slaveryfootprint.org?

I learned I own like 40 slaves, mostly because of the amount of clothes & shoes I own. This was devastating.

materialism is a form of slavery to those that consume it and those that manufacture it.

Just me said...

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful woman in that video.

And I love how your experience at the moment is transforming you. It's inspiring and convicting.

Haley Galloway said...

Something totally laid upon my heart by Christ lately. Purging the unnecessary and simplifying every aspect of my life.

P.S I've been following the Kisses for Katie blog and it stirs my heart every single time! What a beautiful person.

Alexis Kaye said...

I'm so proud of you for sticking through this! Not because I didn't think you'd do it, because I don't know if I'd be able to! It's so true. There's so much emphasis based on what you have, no matter how "on sale" it is. You're awesome Jen! I look up to you!

jkd said...

Just found your blog!

I'm so happy to know there are people like you who make a difference in the world. Good joB!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

so beautiful! i am going to take the challenge and not buy anything that is unnecessary! this is just so inspirational!
xo TJ

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

What a blessing to read this post!

Today, I have been struggling with my job situation -- make more money or serve the Lord.

Your post and that video was a kind reminder to me to serve God with my WHOLE heart, my WHOLE life, my ENTIRE being.

God asked of me a monetary gift several months ago. It felt soooooo good to release it. Truly we have more with less!!

Thanks so much for posting. :)

Amanda V said...

such a wonderful thing this challenge is! It is so beautiful to see God working through you, thanks for your words!!!

Erin said...

This is an ongoing challenge for many of us. It is hard to take a step back, realize how much we have and how much we could give to those who are in need. :) Thanks for the reminder!

Allison said...

I love this post...I am inspired. You go girl! It's so crazy how much emphasis our culture puts on material things. Buy, buy, buy, I need, I need, I need. It's quite sad.

learning2surrender said...

That's the best YouTube video I've seen in a LONG time! How wonderful, I'm so encouraged. I'm seventeen years old and I've been really seeking to know what God wants me to do after I graduate. He hasn't given me a clear cut answer yet of His plans. But let me tell you, I want to live a life of service like this.
Thank-you so much for sharing this! Excellent!

mary said...

WOW Miss Blair! You are so committed and dedicated and it is so inspiring! Love your spirit! xox!

Liz @ thequickjourney.blogspot.com said...

that is so inspiring. i love that you put God first... even when it's difficult. obedience and punishment isn't always easy, but with it comes an overflow of blessings in the end.

great job~ liz

hannah singer said...

always so inspired by you, sweet jen!
to god be the glory!

xo praying for you, i know you're getting excited and ready for your trip! woohoo! praise jesus!

kinze said...

wow ... this is good!

Megan said...

oh, I know I need this..but it also scares me. Honestly. I need to check it out...thank you for sharing.


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