devozine

Spiritual Practice

SATISFIED AND SERVING

Jessica, Cindy & Kate

How can we give our best in answer to God’s call?

Practice Letting Go

My church began the year with a six-week series called “Satisfied.” Each week we took on a new challenge to help us increase our contentment with what God has given us.

The first week each person was challenged to get rid of at least five items a day. I live in a tiny apartment and am somewhat of a minimalist, but still I had a lot to learn. The first few days I got rid of things I already intended to give away. But by the end of that week, I was struggling to let go of things I’d been keeping for far too long. I hadn’t realized how much my contentment was wrapped up in my stuff.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was joyfully filling boxes with items that would be better used some place other than on my shelves. I learned to be more generous and grateful for what I had. Now several hundred possessions lighter, I feel freer to serve God.

—Jessica Lippe

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.
Luke 12:48 (NIV)

Start with One Person

When images of hunger, disease, and terrible disasters appear in the news, we often feel helpless. As homelessness increases and the gap between the rich and the poor widens, we can become disheartened. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking we have to do something huge to make a difference. But we can start with one person.

Each of us is capable of doing something to change one person’s world. We might give money, time, or a helping hand. We can make a difference by cleaning or raking leaves, listening to someone who needs a friend, volunteering at a charity event, or raising money and awareness through a sponsored walk or run. What are your skills? How can you use your gifts to help someone else and to make the world a better place?

—Cindy Shanks

 

DIG DEEPER

Trade Comfort for Compassion

In her books Kisses from Katie and Daring to Hope, Katie Davis Majors recounts how, as a teenager, she left a comfortable American lifestyle for a difficult yet joyful one in Uganda. Though surrounded by poverty and suffering, in the last decade Katie has fostered and adopted many children, organized Bible studies, and founded a growing Christian ministry called Amazima. Her generous spirit causes me to consider the life of ease I lead in the United States and how I might serve God in more radical ways.

I believe that God can multiply even the smallest gift, but I can’t help feeling that I’m missing something. By holding on too tightly to my comfortable life, I may overlook opportunities to let others in or to show compassion to those who need it. So I’ve decided to examine my life and make some changes. I don’t know if this will mean becoming a foster mother or selling all of my worldly goods, but I know that my comfort isn’t worth missing out on the gift of sharing God’s grace with others.

—Kate Underwood

—from devozine (May/June 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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