Chapter 3 – One Thing You Lack

I ended this chapter with tears in my eyes. I was incredibly moved by Rich’s story and by his heart. Walking away and this concept of him trying to run away only to find God waiting there. Even in running he must have had a sensitive heart toward this. Although God certainly was shouting!

The part of the story where he was offered the CEO job of the biggest tableware company in the world AND being 10% owner in it – and ultimately the connection with World Vision, etc… it blew me away. Would it have been hard for you to walk away? Because I sit and wonder if I could have, and pray I could have. God reminds me to show myself grace b/c if I am striving to be that individual at least I am mindful and working towards becoming who He wants me to be.

Two other areas that really stuck out to me.
1. This quote: “I don’t believe Jesus was saying that all of us have to sell everything we have and give it to the poor. No, Jesus was looking into the heart of this particular young man, and He saw that he had not relinquished his life unconditionally.” – It is somewhat of a relief and I love to see it written out. Even know I believe that I think in the back of my mind there’s still all of these pictures of people and Bible stories, etc of those who have sold it all. God uses what we have, and He calls us all in different ways.

2. This concept of the “prosperity gospel” – the belief that God rewards faithful and sincere Christians with success, good health, and material prosperity. I know all of these things are not to be assumed – but I’m just curious as to what you all think about that??

(Also, total side note- Is anyone else interested in taking the lead on any chapters? I can but don’t want to dominate this thing since we’re all doing it together).



Filed under The Hole In Our Gospel

4 responses to “Chapter 3 – One Thing You Lack

  1. Allison

    Thanks, Tiff! I was really struck by the notion of the “prosperity gospel.” I guess I didn’t realize that there were folks who felt that material goods were a reward from God. If anything, as Rich pointed out, there are times reading Bible stories when I have thought that most of God’s faithful followers have had it pretty rough! I liked this “But God can also use our tragedies to expand our territory in ways that show a skeptical world a different way to live.” and “God also blesses us through our sacrifices for Him as we feel the privilege of being a tool in His hand”
    Something that is really hitting home to me as I am rereading this chapter is this quote (and how it is fitting with my life right now) “For the follower of Christ, anything that becomes more precious to us than our relationship with the Lord becomes destructive.” For me right now, the thing that is most precious to me, besides family and friends of course, is time. As in, free time. Time away from a working life. As a family, we are facing some decisions about income and time and I get very cranky and possessive of the little time that I feel I have. And I KNOW that I am not devoting enough of this time to others, God included, or to service of others. I need to work this into the master plan…and NOW!
    The end of this chapter was very touching to me, after Rich had already turned down the job, and then he was thinking about how there may be children, or even one child, who might suffer because of this decision. And then the part about his wife?? “God had known all along that she was the woman I would need to be the man He wanted me to become.” What a powerful thing to know and say about your spouse.

    • Allison I hadn’t caught this, “the privilege of being a tool in His hand” but that is so good. Thanks for sharing that. I totally know what you mean by time being your most precious commodity. Even now with R working 65+ hours a week just at one job, not his 2nd or 3rd job and the sacrifices that go w/ that plus my job plus two kiddos… sigh. I have tried/am trying to work things in that can at least semi fit into our now new normal flow of life. And everything else? Well, if there’s no childcare provided then I’m probably not able to help out which is okay b/c I wasn’t called to do EVERYTHING, just something.

  2. Heather

    Prosperity gospel…. What is interesting to me and I have had many questions about is this… If God rewards the “good followers” with wealth, good health, etc…then why are some of the most lovely, giving people, some of the least fortunate and least wealthy…and why are there do many wealthy people that are so self centered and self righteous?
    My mom comes from a family of six children. Her parents were devout Christians. Two of their children followed the Lord, one a pastor and the other a lovely man who devoted his life to the Lord and spoke and ministered to others through his community and church. The other four chose their own paths. The Pastor lost his life to cancer around 30 and the other devoted brother lost his life suddenly at 60 years old. The question that arises for me is this…Does God sometimes wait on those who have more to learn, pain to feel, in order to bring them to His court before it is too late? Or is it all coincidence and part of His plan?
    A little off topic but the prosperity gospel made me think of it.
    Again, he amazes me in his ability to walk from temptation… It is good for me to question myself and what I would have done…

    • This concept of prosperity gospel also brings up a lot of questions for me too. I just keep thinking, “God works for the good of those who love him.” Even when I don’t get it, I know that He does. Why was I born in the USA? Why was Lorens born in Haiti and dealing w/ a completely different life than I? No clue. But God does have a plan. I do sometimes think he lets things happen in order to try and woo people to Him. I don’t know the details but I know He is desperate for a love relationship with everyone. Like being a parent, sometimes I’ll let my kids take actions, make choices that will ultimately hurt them a bit (not a lot) but a bit – in hopes that they will learn to trust my words and that what I say is true, (“No really Prayse, standing on the back of the chair is not only wrong b/c I say it is but because you WILL get hurt when you fall….” and then let her stand on it because she did fall, but hasn’t done that again since).

      In the end I believe we make our own choices though, while I don’t know how that pans out to who gets the wealth – the natural flow of things is that if you go to med school to become a surgeon you will most likely end up with a bigger salary than a HS drop out who loves Jesus with all of his/her heart and is now a Call Center Rep. One is not better than the other but by the nature of our society one will end up making more money than the other. I’m getting off topic and not sure really where I’m even going w/ this. But I’d love to keep discussing because this is a super interesting topic.

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