Sunday, July 26, 2015

When We Value Others Above Ourselves

There is a time where we often come across people who are wealthy and live accordingly. Just like many towns do, there are different wealth statuses among the people. I live in an area of Georgia where the people are definitely not hurting for money. We have our different parts of town that make it not all prosperous. But when I go places, I often see people with fancy cars, nice clothing, and perfect hair. The lawns are well manicured and people hire out for most of the dirty work around their homes.

This is supposed to be the Bible belt of America. 

Now having a lot of money doesn't make a person a bad one. But when the world around us is hurting, why are we living so abundantly?

It's easy for a person to get the green eye for what others have while we want to keep up with the Joneses. You see them doing well thinking life must be so grand. In our eyes, they don't have to worry about a thing but live with that feeling of always winning, always looking the best, and always feeling successful. As Americans, we strive to get more and more of whatever we can to gain that status. Sometimes, it's in hope to feel better, be happier, and suffer less. 

But what if our story is not meant to be lived longing for material wealth and gain? What if our story is meant to be completed by the Author and not by what we so desire in this world? For many of us, even with pay raises, we still find ourselves living paycheck to paycheck. But what if living with less and living more to help others is a better gain?  Where is the direction of our hearts going when we find ourselves longing for new stuff all of the time? Do we really end up using everything that we even have? 

These are questions for us all to be examining ourselves with often as we go to make each purchase. We should be thinking more about what God is calling us to do with the money He has blessed us with so wonderfully. It's time we help each other stand accountable to our purchases and think of what we might be able to do with our money instead. 

I read some statistics about poverty here in America that are shocking. While it appears that many people have it together, a lot of our country doesn't even have enough to eat. According to, in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. In other words, 14 percent of households (17.5 million households) were food insecure. Even more surprising is that there were eight states that were significantly higher in food insecurity, one being Georgia at 16.6% of households. 

So while many in my area are living lavish lives, there are families in other areas struggling to eat. Even more, there is a large amount of people living homeless lives. According to, in January 2014, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. About 9 percent of homeless people- 49,933- are veterans, the very people who fought for the freedoms for our country. Now I don't know about you, but these are alarming facts. And this is just what is happening on our own land. 

Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. 

Think about other parts of the world and how people are suffering. The poverty in South America is very high (31.8% of people) with the highest rates being in Columbia, Bolivia, and Venezuela. In Bolivia, 60% of the people live in poor conditions with only 86% having access to running water. (

In Africa, disease and lack of human resources such as water contribute to the continent's poverty levels. "In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries are in Africa. In many nations, GDP per capita is less than US$5200 per year, with the vast majority of the population living on much less. ( 

Why do we live so abundantly when we are called as Christians to help the poor? 

Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. 

I am as guilty as anyone who has tried to keep up with the Joneses. I'll see things wanting to have it right away. My eyes get big and I tell myself, "I MUST HAVE THIS NOW!" 

Yet, I am constantly cleaning and going through stuff to get rid of in my home. I feel like I am fairly good about things compared to a lot of people in that I don't go overboard with clothing or shoes for myself or my children. But I still feel like we have an abundance that is a bit much, especially when what I spent could have been used to help another person. 

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

What are some ways that you can think of to help others out? How can God use your story to help for the good of others? What kinds of things can you give up out of convenience to bless another? 

One big satisfaction in my life is being able to host this Unspeakable Joy Exchange. God laid it on my heart one night to begin a fun way to help others fund-raise for various needs. We have a new one beginning this week that I am hoping will bless another family (keep your eyes open for when it starts). Please join me in prayer as I prepare for the organization of it. And please pray that as a community, we can all come together to help another out. 

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