July 25, 2007

Abodeology (Theology Of Picking Dwellings)

So, it's something we all do around 10 - 20 times in our lives. We pick a place to live. We search, we research, we visit, we inspect, we appraise, we purchase, we move, we live. And all the while, in so many instances, I feel like almost everyone does it completely ignorant of God's overarching purpose in their lives.

Can you explain that to me? Or am I missing something thing here? If the Bible says "do all unto the Glory of God", then why are we buying our houses unto the glory and comfort of ourselves?

When you bought your last house, why did you buy it? I mean, dead honest, all pretense aside, why did you buy it? And, does your dwelling, your place to live, your choice of abode say anything about you as a Christian? Did you pick a lost neighborhood because you wanted to be a missionary in your community and perhaps start a Bible Study for the folks on the street? Did you pick an area next to a school so that you could have influence there, hang out with your kids more often, and perhaps influence other families who have kids there as well? Did you move downtown to a lost and hurting area specifically for the purpose of sharing Christ with those who may not know them?

OR, did you choose the suburbs? Did you choose the nice, safe quiet neighborhood that presented the most "cozy" situation for you? Did you choose it because it was big and you could put nice furniture in it and nice paintings and rugs and stuff. Did you choose it so you could spend lots of money on making it look like a Better Homes and Garden spread? How bout Pottery Barn? Have you spent more money with them than you have on helping orphans feel the love of Jesus?

See, here's the problem. We're exiles here. We're temporary. A vapor! Nothing more...this world is not our home, and the Gospel is for the sick, the poor, the displaced, the hurting, the needy. So why aren't you living next to them? Why are you going to them? Why aren't you loving them?

These were all questions that I've answered in my head over the last few days as my wife and I have sought where God would have us to live as we prepare to plant a church in 2009. And our decision was to rent. But we rented next to a school. Next to a place that is the biggest mission field in our community. No race, economic, sex, gender distinctions. Just kids who are from hurting families and it will be awesome to get involved in those lives over the next 12 - 18 months.

But I came face to face in that search with my sin of comfort and idolatry of "security" in this world. God forgive me for it, and grant me repentance. So the question you have to ask yourself, and I asked myself was this:

What does your house say about you? Is Jesus truly king, or is your 2,500 square feet all you give a crap about?


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts... The great part about it is that even with me having the same sin issue of desire for comfort and security, God can/has shaped me to look for ways to reach out to my neighborhood. Call me when you are back in town and we can grab a coffee...


Milton Stanley said...

Good call on renting. I think it was Henry Nouwen who said that Americans always think in terms of upward mobility, but Jesus put downward mobility into practice. Peace.