John 10:10 (ESV)God has really been working on my heart lately about my own excess and the poor. Maybe it's good to go through these struggles from time to time. Otherwise, it might be a sign that my heart is getting too calloused.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I spent this past week at a Baptist preteen camp. I was really looking forward to this trip because last year I had great spiritual experience. I not only had a spiritual high for a few days but the experience altered my course of thinking for the long-term as well.
This year we went to a different camp and this year the camp only served to heighten my current spiritual struggles. The camp theme this year was "living the dream" and John 10:10 was the key verse.
I loved the "camp" atmosphere. There were canoes, BMX bike trails, a great pool, rock-climbing, and bungee jumping among other activities. I loved the time with the kids. I got to minister to a few of them, including my own son. We had some great bible study and devotional times as a small group.
The part that I really struggled with was the way the kids took to the snack shack and gift store during free time. Buckets full of money were being poured into candy, sodas, and trinkets. As I'm struggling with how I should respond to the fact that a child is dying every 7 seconds due to lack of food, watching the indulgence by our kids at a Christian camp was seriously intensifying my struggles.
The teaching lessons to the kids was on living the dream, as in living your life for Christ and the promise of a fulfilled life and eternity in heaven (hmm, what about the resurrection - that's another topic). So, the message being taught in the worship services and the small group discussions was good. However, what was the lesson we were sending on their hours of free time each day with pockets full of money and free reign on the junk food and souvenirs?
This leads me back to my own struggles. How much is too much? God has blessed me to live in this great country and he has blessed me with a great job, health, and money. When is it wrong to spend this money on myself? Where is the line where I say, rather than feed that one child for a month, I'm going to spend this $30 on a non-essential item for me or my family?
On the other hand, does this mean I sell everything, move into a small house somewhere, only buy the bare essentials, and give everything else away? Do I live as if I were in poverty even though God has blessed me with much?
Where do I draw the line? Is this what it is like getting a camel through the eye of a needle?
Matthew 19:24 (ESV)
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."