Friday, September 10, 2010

Smaller Portions

I own a business and I travel. A lot. I have a 2007 Honda Accord that has 260,000+ miles on it*. I like driving and visiting people; if you want to see me shrivel like a neglected potted plant make me go to the same office every day. However, this lifestyle has some serious drawbacks of which one is the constant eating out. It's a miracle that I am not more overweight than I already am.

Due to the recession restaurants are having to slice prices to keep their patrons returning and I have noticed a trend; smaller portions. At first it bothered me as I was paying less for my meals but the meals were getting smaller and smaller until I was looking at a five dollar lunch that consisted of two palm sized burgers with five dainty shrimp strewn across a pile of spinach leaves that would barely fill a tea cup. Incredulous, I looked up at the waiter to say something when the Holy Spirit told me, with the usual difficulty it encounters, to shut up. I sat stunned and eventually managed a weak, "Thank you".

As I looked at the meal which would barely feed a gerbil much less a six foot two fifty two inch chest male I begin to become convicted of my attitude. There are millions, literally millions, of people in this world that would trade places with me in a heartbeat. How did the six hundred plus calories sitting in front of me become not enough? How did I manage to grande size my entire life to the point that when presented with smaller portions instead of thanking God for my blessings I immediately acquired an attitude that it was insufficient?

I am asking these questions as I think about our society and our wrecked economy which is at its lowest point since the Great Depression. There is no denying that people are financially hurting. What I wonder is how much of it within the Body of Christ was self inflicted? Was our quest for bigger houses, nicer cars under the guise of being 'blessed by God' really hiding our fleshly desire to super size our lives? Did we get caught up in using credit cards to get what we wanted now to end up paying for it later? Did we begin to believe that God was a debit card existing to finance our lifestyles? I think we did. I know I did.

I wonder how much of what God is allowing in our society has to do with bringing the unbelievers to repentance (it's working, Church's are growing again) as opposed to educating the body of Christ as to why we need to be good stewards of our finances and resources. My guess is that God is probably getting a twofer here. Get the heathen's attention that they can't trust the riches of this world and teach his 'flighty I will take the charge card and run the bill up to get things that I don't need while the world is dying around me' Bride to be a lesson in financial stewardship.

God wants us to have the big dreams and to do great things for the Kingdom of God. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12) But God also wants us to be good stewards of the resources he's already given us. We have an opportunity in the challenge before us to learn to discipline our appetites and to make do with smaller portions so that when the blessings flow again we can use the resources to grow the Kingdom of God; not our bank accounts, the number of our possessions or the size or our waistlines.

For me personally, I am working on reducing my waistline and we are on track to be completely debt free by 2012.

We need to fulfill great dreams for the Kingdom of God. We just need to do it with smaller portions.

"He who is found faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10

 *On a side note, if you want a reliable car get a Honda. They are made in America and the only thing I've replaced on the vehicle is the radiator fan and the battery. I'm not making this up and I didn't receive any money or favors for this endorsement, but wish I had thought about it first :). 

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