Monday, April 9, 2012

Should I save a baby girl's life or buy a new computer? Logic or delayed obedience?

This is my macbook pro being unboxed in 2008.  It's a crazy story of how I got it, I'll share it with you someday.  

My friend Anneli Johnson is in East Asia right now, serving long term as a missionary.  She is caring for orphans.  She put out this recent call to action: Will you consider being a part of saving a baby girl's life in China? 

My ridiculous comfort zone: Re-prioritizing and recalibrating

As I read her blog post, it put me on the verge of tears.  I instantly wanted to give, and wanted to give big.  

Right before reading that blog post, I was looking at the apple store website.  I was dreaming of a shiny new computer.  I'm not even seriously looking to buy, but even if I was, suddenly a new macbook pro seems pretty insignificant.  

In the time I’ve had to “think” about this... I’ve talked myself out of giving with some pretty logical reasons.  

Well, there are other people, that have access to more resources that are willing to give... 

The money we would give, we’ve allotted for giving, and we already have plans for it... 

So my question is: Am I being logical by not responding to my initial impulse?  Or am I being disobedient?  

When I watch a documentary about being healthy, my impulse right after is to go and throw every ounce of junk food out of the house, and go get on the treadmill... but I talk myself out of that too.  So is there a difference between those two situations?  

Well you’ve got to ease yourself into that lifestyle change.  There’s wisdom in that.  But what if, because I didn’t do anything extreme, I just keep living like I always have?  

What if wisdom and deception look surprisingly similar?  And what if faith and foolishness were even harder to tell apart?  

1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  Matt 6:1-3

What if my right hand needed to tell your right hand what it was doing so you could smack me if I’m buying a macbook pro before giving to save a life. 

I believe that faith and foolishness can look very similar.  

And I believe that God gave us a mind, and we’re to make decisions logically.  

But I also believe that obedience to the Father sometimes doesn’t look logical at all.  

 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  John 12:3

Engage:  How do you make decisions that are borderline on the faith and foolish spectrum?  Share with us in the comments.  


  1. So in the end did you give or did you talk yourself out of it for now?

  2.  I hear you, Jim.  I've had the same frustrating argument trying to discern God's voice about giving on many occasions.  Good post!

  3. I KNEW someone would ask this. We have not come to a decision yet. We will give I just do not know how much.

  4. LOVE this post Jim! Made me think!

  5. We came to a decision.  If you want to know what we decided you can message me on facebook and I will tell you.  We had a time of giving this morning as a community, I thought it was the funny timing of God.  

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