Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Struggle to Share People's Joy

I think I discovered something about myself today. Some of you who know me well may even say, "I coulda told you that!"
I really struggle to share in the material blessing of others--especially when a purchase seems to be extravagant. For example, I remember a time when a lady at my church purchased a new couch/chair set for her living room. It was brown overstuffed leather. Certainly beautiful, but I had seen the old couch and chair set, and I don't remember thinking it needed replacing. I struggled to share their joy.
Now when I see purposeful thrift, and the needed replacement of something, it's easier. If a family friend buys a new car that they have been saving for, after driving and repairing the old car for ten years, I can rejoice with them.
To some degree, I think I am justified, especially when I know something of the circumstances, and have a hunch that some or other purchase will place a burden of debt on individuals who really shouldn't take on anymore, but I suppose it's none of my business...Though how much help could we give one another if we weren't so closed off about these kind of things?
I don't think it's envy. I think I am pretty well content with my lot, because I know what we would have to give up to have more stuff or newer stuff, and we are not willing to give that up(ie time with family, the freedom of debt-free living etc). I guess the thing that makes it hard is seeing so many people not taking the harder, longer road. Seeing so many take what appears to be the easy road. The easy road of instant gratification, credit, and all the rest.
Now I am not trying to excuse my behavior--certainly I need to be more willing to rejoice when our Lord blesses someone in that way. Heaven knows I am joyful when it comes my way, and want others to rejoice with me!!
But do you know a sad thing in my opinion? A couple years ago, we finally paid off all our debt. You know, both my husband and I wanted to share our joy and relief of finally being debt-free!! However, imagine what it would feel like when you know that everyone you could share with isn't even close to debt-free? Kinda made it feel like boasting. We only shared it with a couple people...it just had to bust out, it was such a relief. But we both almost felt ashamed to want to share it with others. Hmmmmm....
Shouldn't we all be able to rejoice freely when we succeed in something we are guided to in Scripture?? After all, it was His blessing that enabled us to live on a budget, His provision that always covered us when times were tough, and ultimately, His direction that we were only following as He gave the grace to do so.
Does anyone have anything I can rejoice with you about today??

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please be kind, folks:) Differences of opinion are fine, but let the love of Christ reign here...