Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days: Fighting Consumerism

One of my top five strengths in the Strengths Finder is Input. That means that I can stockpile lots of information in my brain, on my computer, etc. When I’m working from the basement of this strength it also means that I could be a know-it-all, a hoarder, and overly consumeristic. A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to confront thisleaning toward consumerism in myself. One way Idecided to do this was read less blog posts and intentionally process the ones I read.

When Mike Breen wrote this post a few weeks ago it was a bit controversial. While I think my take away was somewhat different than most folk’s below is my response to (in an effort to process) his post:

I’ll admit it…I am obsessed with doing. The idea of doing that is. I’m really in love with “being missional.” I believe it’s a Biblical concept. Simply being a missionary, fulfilling the Great Commission. Those are good things. Here’s the problem(s):

First of all I don’t know what to do. No seriously, I have no idea what to do. I have lots of ideas of things I should be doing like teaching a Bible study, talking to lost people at a coffee shop, volunteering with the homeless, tutoring kids, and bringing food to the people my husband works with. All of those ideas excite me but I can’t do them all. Worse still is that I spend time with Christians forty hours per week. They’re great and all, but by the time my job is done each day I have little energy or time left for the activities listed above.

Additionally I grew up in a legalistic church. While I’ve tried to break away from that bad theology so much of the doing is ingrained in me. I always feel like I’m not doing enough as a wife, Christian, friend, etc. But I’ve read some great quotes lately that have got me thinking:

“Many church leaders unknowingly replace the transcendent vitality of a life with God for the ego satisfaction they derive from a life for God.” –Skye Jethani

“We are a group of people addicted to and obsessed with the work of the Kingdom, with little to no idea how to be with the King.” –Mike Breen

And they got me thinking, does Jesus+ Nothing (really) = Everything? You see I believe it does but I don’t live like it does. It’s true I don’t know how to be with God anymore. But I’m thinking that if I did and made that a priority maybe missional living would naturally spring from that? What I’m certain of is that I can’t worship the ‘doing’ like I have been or beat myself up when I don’t live up to my own standards. Likewise I can’t use my freedom in Christ as an excuse for laziness…

What I’m sure of: I need to spend more time with God.

What I’m good at: cooking for people, hosting people in my home, listening to people

What I can do: continue to invest my time with the lost people my husband works with Downtown

What I want to get better at: responding to people with Gospel-centered conversation

Maybe those four questions will help you get better at intentional living as well. If so feel free to share your answers to them below.


  1. I am really enjoying reading this series from you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Molly, thank you for reading. I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

  3. I agree, Joy. Jesus+Nothing=Everything. And when we're loving Him, the missional living will spring out of that relationship. It's so hard to keep this balance, because we have to take that step of obedience in faith. But I do want to be more intentional, led by the Spirit of God, to reach those around me.

    1. Jacqui, thank you for reading friend. This particular post brought much clarity to my own missional journey. I can't wait to hear more of how you step out in faith and live intentionally.