More C. S. Lewis

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them.”

I don't have the brain cells to look up the source material at this time of night, but God's been bouncing thoughts about how I should really be living around in my head for a few weeks now. I know I spend too much of God's many gifts on myself. Money, time, energy, thoughts, health, transportation. What good are these if they only benefit me, the man who prefers to be alone? What a waste. And how much of what I pursue is beneficial to the people around me? Even within the category of necessary expenditures, like buying groceries, clothes, etc, how often to I buy more, either in quantity or quality, than I need?

And then there's "entertainment:" Worthlessness epitomized. What good is produced, what people are positively impacted, when I watch Breaking Bad by myself late at night? That time would be better spent sleeping, even. Movies? An expensive way to pretend to spend time with somebody while avoiding the burden of constructive conversation. Video games? I hardly play them, yet I'm becoming certain––convicted, even––that they have no place in the lives of God's people. 

I could ignore the multitudinous scriptures exhorting us to live pure lives mentally, physically and spiritually (which, I think, we could all agree a lot of pop culture media does not promote), and still feel strongly that video games, movies, books, music, sports, relationships, the food we eat, the cars we drive, any of them employed simply for the sake of personal enjoyment are sinful, simply because they are a WASTE OF RESOURCES. We do not have eternity in this life, but "what we do in life echos in eternity." I cannot believe that God put me in this place to defeat Bowser and restore peace to the Mushroom Kingdom. I cannot believe that if I am in a situation requiring an automobile, I need anything but the most basic and inexpensive automobile available. Does my clothing need to do anything but clothe me, or should I take money I could be putting toward people and put it toward a nicer shirt, cooler shoes, or prettier skin? (A related topic for another night: How do I justify my current means of income? I know you don't have to move to Africa to live righteously, and I know there are plenty of people who need Christ everywhere.... but how can a Christian work in the fashion or luxury industry? More specifically, how can I? I am troubled; I don't think I can. Praying for enlightenment and guidance.) Practically speaking, I don't think you can be that rigid about things. "The man who fears God will avoid all extremes." Brains need some cool-down time, so when it comes to the profitability of entertainment I think it's important to realize that sometimes it is good to "waste" time on occasion, and take a mental sabbath...

The important thing is I know I spend too much of God's many gifts on myself. I am painfully and prayerfully re-prioritizing.


No comments:

Post a Comment