Saturday, July 7, 2012

i want to be different.

inspiration: for the first time in a very long time, i feel confident in being labeled as "different"

so i had an interesting conversation earlier that has sparked some interesting thoughts in my head. i made a comment about how i read in "The Hole in Our Gospel" the monetary figure of curing world hunger compared to how much we Americans spend on luxuries such as eating out, entertainment, and jewelry. the response was definitely not what i expected. instead of being humbled by the reality of how extravagantly we live compared to other countries, the response was "that's a socialist idea". at the time, the comment stung and i was actually a bit taken aback by it, but i quickly brushed it off.

but later today, i had a small "oopsy-daisy" moment with my car at the bank - i was trying to navigate through the drive-in area in order to get to the ATM and scraped the passenger side of my car on one of those barrier things...oops. i have a lot of scratches and a dent, but life will go on, it's just a car. i was upset briefly (not so much about my car, but about how embarrassed i was about the fact that i was so careless), but in  the moments following the awkward scraping noise that was generated between my car and the post, i thought "wow, nikki, you're not as upset as most people would be about your car..." i was then immediately humbled realizing that pride was taking over.

that kairos moment took me back to the conversation from before.
i began thinking about what i want to be remembered for.
i realized quickly that i'd much rather be remembered for my actions than my political beliefs. so what if i'm labeled as having "socialist" ideas because i believe it's ridiculous that we spend on ourselves what we could be using to end world hunger.

Jesus taught that we are to care for the widowed and poor.
we are to humble ourselves for the sake of others.
we are to have child-like faith.

so why don't we live like that?
why are we more worried about what political stance we have if we want to help the poor?

i just checked my reference from A Hole in Our Gospel and the numbers are as follows: 
  • $65 billion could eliminate the most extreme poverty on the planet for more than a billion people
  • universal primary education for children would cost $6 billion
  • bringing clean water to most of the world's poor, an estimated $9 billion
  • basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world, $13 billion

  • $705 billion: the amount Americans spend on entertainment and recreation
  • $179 billion: amount spent by teenagers ages 12-17 (2006)
  • $65 billion: amount we spent on jewelry (2008)
  • $58 billion: amount spent on state lottery tickets (2007)
  • $39.5 billion: total US-government foreign assistance budget for the world
  • $31 billion: amount spent on pets (2003)
  • $13 billion: amount spent by Americans on cosmetic surgery (2007)
  • $5 billion: total overseas ministries income to 700 Protestant mission agencies, including denominational, interdenominational, and independent agencies
A Hole in Our Gospel (218)

these numbers to me are staggering.
slightly depressing to me that we are willing to live in our own comfortable Gospel.
humbling to know that i am just another person that contributes to life in the comfortable Gospel.

i want to be different.
when Jesus commands us to care for the poor and widowed, i want to do just that.
i want to believe that as the body of Christ we can eradicate world hunger.
and poverty.
and human trafficking.
and social injustice.

i don't want to be defined by what others think of me and what i believe.
if i conflict with their political views. i'm sorry.
i would rather live in harmony with my Biblical views than to live otherwise based on a label that i don't even understand (let's be real, when it comes to politics, i am as naive as unaware as they come. i know what my beliefs are when it comes to my faith, but i have no clue how i align them in the political realm).

(i hope this doesn't come across as a "political" rant, like i said, i really have no business bringing up those things. i'm just raising the point that i want to be different when it comes to the way i live.) i think we have given up what could be an amazing portrait of the true Gospel, but instead we are living like the world. i don't want to live like the world, though.

i want to be different.


  1. Beautiful and very inspirational. Thank you ;)

  2. That book was a game changer for me as well. We have a spiritual problem in this country. A leadership problem - we're looking to people to do what God alone can do - satisfy our deepest needs. I was a political junkie - now I see it all as a game of distractions - keeping our anxiety up and our peace down in order to distract us from the Prince of Peace. As long as we pour out our energy in the political arena, we have little left for what is truly important. Jesus never called us to sign a petition - They'll know we are Christians by our love.

    I want to be different too.