American Christians: Are we selfish? Lacking? Or looking through the wrong lens?
// "The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything." -Deuteronomy 2:7 //
One thing I've struggled with over the years is how to view money as a Christian.
On one end, my undergrad experience was filled with people who emphasized living without much in the New Testament, sold out for Christ with regard for nothing but Heaven.
On the other end, my post-grad experience included teachings focused on God wanting us to live in a land of milk and honey and bless us while we are on Earth.
And I'm not alone. I've attended churches over the years that teach both ends - and some to an extreme of prosperity, not just having what we need.
As I've been studying my Bible, though, I'm seeing examples of both. Times where the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and barely communing with God. Times where they traveled through the dessert for 40 years depending on God for manna. Times where they entered their promised land and lived in blessing.
So what if the answer truly isn't in lack or prosperity, but in seasons? Maybe God isn't concerned with what we have. Maybe His approval isn't shown in what He blesses us with.
When I look at the Israelites in the wilderness, we see them complaining constantly - literally - and without any judgement from me. I couldn't imagine blindly walking for 40 years and trusting God with no home, no growing food, listening to a prophet.
But they walked in a lack mindset. I'd define that as feeling the need to acquire more and desperately working to get it. Not feeling secure in His provision or that what they had was enough.
What does God say about this, though?
In Deuteronomy 2:7, He says for the 40 years He was with them and they lacked nothing.
When they wandered around a long route to their promised land, dependent on Him for their livelihood, God says they lacked nothing.
So how much more could they lack nothing when He blessed them further?
Perhaps, instead of wondering if we should live with minimal as a form of humility or live in abundance to showcase His glory, we shouldn't care as much about material things either way. Give Him the glory for it, but it isn't what He is even noticing.
Do you know what He was noticing in the wilderness? Their hearts. Their desire for Him.
My fellow American Christians, let's switch up the lens through which we look. Instead of caring either way, let's be good stewards of whatever we have been given and keep it moving. That's not what we need to focus on.