Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

25Apr/110

Something Better than the American Dream…

The Christian life is a life of selflessness and sacrifice.

Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) and "And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27).

My understanding of the role of sacrifice in my own life is to manage the things He gives me as a good steward: my marriage, my money, and my possessions. Those things all really belong to Him, I just take care of them and invest them for a good return…a return of souls reconnected to Him.

The question that often comes back to haunt me is: How much am I called to sacrifice?

I have given up many things in the course of my life…but I also live with many things I could give up. I don’t have to live at my current standard of living…I choose to live in a state of comfort above most of the world’s population. I believe God is ok with my decisions in that respect. I didn’t have to get married, but I felt that God setup the marriage I have and called me to that lifestyle. I don’t have children—and I feel that God has placed that sacrifice on my heart and Stacy’s heart at this time too.

I revisit these sacrifices and others often, because the American dream that I see all around me is VERY appealing at times, and living a sacrificial lifestyle causes me to look weird and even unspiritual to some people (imagine the looks I get when I tell people Stacy and I have been married seven years and have not chosen to start a family). I become envious of the things that other people around me have: homes, families, expensive hobbies, and great careers. 

I also revisit this topic of sacrifice often because I am constantly reminding myself that I cannot judge the level of sacrifice that He has called other people to. I often wish that more American Christians would live a life of sacrifice for the sake of supporting their church, supporting missions work, and getting involved in serving others.

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