I’m what you’d call a minimalist when it comes to things around the house. I don’t do keepsakes and I don’t have a collection of spoons or post cards or what have you. If I’m not using it, I toss it. I like to be efficient and having extra things around the house equals inefficiency in my brain. This quirk has its perks, but it also has its down side. Let’s just say I learned early in marriage to ask my husband about his stuff before throwing it away. I had to learn that lesson a few times before I really got it. 😉
On the other hand, when it comes to my clothes or my children’s clothes, that’s another story. I’ve gotten so much better over the years. Really, I have. If I haven’t worn something in a year, I try really hard to get rid of it. Most of the time, this system works.
There’s a possibility my husband and I will have more children. Right now, we’re at 3: an eighteen year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. Thus, it makes perfectly good sense to me, one might even call it wise, to keep my little’s clothing in case we have another. However, God has made it clear to me with his ever so still, quiet voice that I am to give it away. Even putting these words in print gives me pause and makes me question my wisdom versus God’s wisdom.
The book of James is straightforward. I like that. My kinda guy. James must have been a doer and he gave us plenty of tasks to accomplish. I bet he kept a daily to-do list and checked off his tasks as he went along. Just sayin’. In chapter 5, James gave me something to do while throwing a punch straight at my keep-my-kids-clothing-just-in-case plan.
Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. ~ James 5:1-5
The Spirit showed me three things as I read this passage:
- I am treating my clothing as wealth and luxury even though I don’t consider myself rich.
- I’m not trusting God to provide more clothing should we need it.
- I am hoarding my clothing away, keeping it from others who desperately need it.
Now, I know I don’t employ workers. However, I do have something someone else less fortunate than me can benefit from: children’s clothing. Who’s to say someone isn’t asking God to clothe their children at this very minute, and God’s calling me to be the physical manifestation of that answer?
And then James throws this punch, just in case I thought I could get away with my plan:
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. ~ James 4:17
What am I waiting for? If you see me around in the next week or so I want you to ask me if I’ve gotten rid of those clothes yet; it is on my to do list!
Is God asking you to obey him? Chances are the answer is yes. Are you willing to obey?