323

Why We Surrendered Our American Dream

323Back in August, I posted a blog called “Surrendering the American Dream.” I’m not sure if my wife and I really knew at the time what would come of it, but we knew we wanted to spend less on a house so we could give more away to people who really needed it. So we sold our big house and moved into a smaller one. Most people were supportive. Others didn’t get it. But that was the first step in a change in our way of thinking. Fundamentally, we no longer wanted to build up our own little Kingdom. Instead, we wanted to pour more into God’s Kingdom.

Tired of the rat race, keep-up-with-the-Joneses, McMansion kind of life, we just decided (over the course of probably a year) that some things needed to change. Since then, we’ve founded a nonprofit corporation called The 25 Group, whose sole purpose is to leverage the wealth of the American church to fund global Kingdom work. We recently started accepting donations. What better way to start out the New Year than to give to a good cause? If we’re honest, even after an expensive holiday season, we all have a little we can share.

Here are a few realizations that occurred to us, prompting us to surrender our American dream:

1. We were paying big money for rooms we barely used while there were homeless people all over the world. (Luke 14:13-14, Proverbs 19:17)

2. We had two eating areas in our home. Yesterday, over 25,000 human beings died because of starvation or starvation-related causes. It will happen again today. That’s not okay. (Matthew 25:35, Proverbs 28:27)

3. Investments in this world matter way less than investments in the Kingdom of God, so owning a home wasn’t a huge priority for us. Though we probably will own again when we’re in a position to do so (because over the long haul it is cheaper), unloading our house wasn’t a huge sacrifice in our eyes. When we buy again it will be to downsize that payment again so we can give more. (Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 11:24)

4. By downsizing our space, we reminded ourselves that this world isn’t really our home, anyway. (Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 13:14)

5. Capitalism is a great financial system, but it’s not a basic tenet of Christianity. It may be the means through which we gathered up a lot of stuff, but that doesn’t mean we deserve it or have the right to hoard it. (Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 25:40)

Selling the house was our conviction. It may not be yours. But I would like to propose that you join us in this experiment–sacrificing something so we can fund global Kingdom work. It might be your coffee, your cable, or your car. Or maybe you have enough means to sacrifice nothing and still give more. Either way, the needs exist.

I have outlined each of The 25 Group’s initial efforts here and here. But this is just the beginning. If we can assemble a small army of 1,000 people (and if you share this post like you did that original one back in August, I don’t think that will be hard to do) to give at least $25 each month, we’ll fund 10-12 of these types of projects every year. We’ll give away over $300,000–money we’re not spending on extra rooms or overpriced coffee or late-night runs to Jack in the Box–to those who really do need it.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 says:

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (emphasis is mine) 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

My family is done ignoring those words. We’re done pretending we’re not rich. We’re done hoarding our wealth. We’re done living for the present age. We’re going to live with less because less will do, and give more because we have plenty to spare.

Join us. You can give to The 25 Group by clicking here. It will only take a few minutes to set up your monthly gift of $25 (you can of course give any amount, including one time gifts), and by joining forces we’ll do the world a world of good. Dare to surrender a dream of yours to live a bigger dream–loving and serving the least of these.

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