Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Cure for Blindness: Radical Read-Along Chapter 6

I'm linking up today with Marla's Radical Read-Along.  Won't you join us?
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

To start from the beginning of my Radical Read-Along posts, click here.

Chapter Six of Radical was another chapter I squirmed my way through.  But I must be getting used to the squirming because I'm glad for it!  I no longer want to stroll through this life, eyes covered with blinders.  I don't want others to look back on my life with the eyes of perspective, such as those we wear when we look back and examine the blind spot of slavery in the church, and be found blind, too.

I am thankful for the timing of this Read-Along as our family may be making some life changing decisions this year.  I am asking God for eyes to see His plan for us as we make these decisions.  I'll freely admit, I am still in the throes of fighting my flesh, which craves bigger and better.  I am trying to discern which of the gifts that God has given us are "intended for enjoyment" and which are to be used for "the spread of HIs glory." (p. 112)

I have always fancied myself a generous person who cares about the plight of the poor and the oppressed.  The kind of person who gives time, money and resources to causes which care for the poor.  But Chapter 6 forced me to examine whether I had really ever given sacrificially for the sake of the poor or if I have simply been "throwing our scraps to them while we  indulge in our pleasures here.  Kind of like an extra chicken for the slaves at Christmas."  (p. 115)  OUCH!  

I'm wrestling this thing out with Jesus.  Throughout this chapter, Platt identified some hard but important questions to consider when discerning God's will for your resources.  Here are but a few: "So, then, what if he told you and me to sell everything we have?  What if he told us to sell our houses for simpler living arrangements?  What if he told us to sell our cars for more modest ones- or for no cars at all?  What if he told us to give away all but a couple sets of clothes?  What if he told us to empty the savings accounts we have been building for years if not decades?  What if he told us to change our lives completely?" (p. 121)

Why does this sound like craziness?  Because it flies in the face of everything most of us have ever been taught about this life.  It rails against the American Dream.  It forces us to reorient our thinking from wealth is always a blessing to consider that it is sometimes a barrier.  (p. 125)

This can all be very overwhelming.  I know I have felt that way many times during the reading of this book.  So much so that it is tempting to walk back into denial and blindness, where it seems many in the church are comfortably living.  I appreciate the simple starting point Platt offers on p. 127 when he speaks about the luxuries we are surrounded by "...why not simply begin a process of limiting and eliminating some of them?"  I am committed to starting the process and asking the hard questions and "letting these questions drive us to Christ." (p. 137)


Shelli said...

We've been at radical living for 5 months and we're still wrestling it out. I'm beginning to think that when we have stopped wrestling, we've gotten too comfortable. I suspect we'll be wrestling for the rest of our lives.

Marla Taviano said...

I'm with Shelli. I don't think the wrestling's supposed to end (bummer). Thanks so much for sharing this, Natalie. Super encouraging to me today!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

No One better to wrestle with than God...praying for you and so blessed to have met you at Relevant!

Natalie said...

Amen, ladies! Thanks for reading and commenting!


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