Friday, January 12, 2007

Mark 8:36

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul – Mark 8:36

This verse has been popping into my head for the last few days. Concerning. When a verse like this starts playing in your head like a broken record, it might be worth paying attention to. So God, you’ve got my attention.

This is pretty personal, talking about sin and stuff, but what the heck, we’re all family…sort of. If it makes you uncomfortable to read my dark thoughts, you can tune this post out. I’m just being real.

I have been consumed with the world lately and not with my Lord. I hate that, I've been praying to focus more on the Lord, but the world keeps distracting me. (If you are the praying type, please keep Jermaine and I in your prayers about this.) At Christmas time I was actually starting to get sick every time I spent money. I overspent (like most Americans, come on people, I know I’m not alone here). I knew it was wrong, but that didn’t stop me, nor did the temporary nausea I felt as I swiped my bank card at the check out. Three weeks after Christmas the kids still have toys that they haven’t opened, and would probably never think about again if I didn't dust them off six months from now on a rainy day. They have ipods they don’t know how to use, they have dressers stuffed with clothes, many with tags still on them (I mean, really, they wear uniforms to school every day, do they really need 25 sets of "weekend clothes"?), I’m getting that feeling again as I type this. What have I done? Why have I done it?

I was so proud that the kids didn’t ask for anything particular for Christmas, why didn’t I just go with that and get them a few simple gifts – why overspend? For that 20 minutes of Christmas morning madness? Was it worth it? No. But I will struggle with doing the same thing next year, I already know it.

What’s worse is that long term impact. What are we teaching them by giving them so much? I’m not talking about the stuff they need, it’s the excess. The excess is the real problem.

So back to the verse. The money I spent on giving the kids stuff that they don’t need would’ve been better allocated to charitable giving. It would’ve felt a lot better too. I’ve never gotten nausea from dropping a check in the collection plate at church.

Speaking of church, our attendance has been inconsistent lately, which we’ve all too readily rationalized that it’s because we haven’t found a church that we really like yet (again, prayers appreciated here too).

So the verse plays again and asks, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul in return? I don’t want to be that fool. I don't know and I don’t want to find out.


The Gawel's said...

I agree with you! We all have gotten so much. I will keep your family in my prayers. I hope we all can overcome the need more urge! Only with the Lord's help! Did I mention yet that we miss you guys!!!

T5M said...

His Grace is sufficient. It's easier said than done though, isn't it?

I miss you too. :-)

FloridaMom said...

I remember the after Christmas nausea well when you and Shaun were growing up. I finally learned that no matter how much I spent, you didn't love me any more or less...and I didn't love myself and more and maybe a little less.

T5M said...

I don't think I'm trying to win their love - in fact, I know I'm not, since Santa gets all the credit.

TheKeyRing said...

Way back when my teenagers were little and I was a single mom I started this thing about Christmas gifts with my kids. I told them that since we were celebrating the birth of Jesus and he received gifts from three wise men, they should expect three gifts under the tree at Christmas time. It was a way to keep Christ in Christmas for the little ones and help me keep a handle on my budgetary issues. We have kept to this tradition, in good times and in bad. Sometimes the stockings are filled with more elaborate gifts than others, but the kids know that there will be three gifts under the tree. It keeps their expectations in check and it helps me keep my sanity.

By the way, I miss you, too.

T5M said...

I LOVE that idea - that's the best!!!

I should start praying NOW, for the discipline to do it next year!

barbarakuhn said...

So as if you're not convicted enough: This morning I read: 1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:15

Erin, the temptations of the world are so strong, keep looking for a good body of believers (the church)the Lord will direct your family.
Love, Barbara