After a couple of very full days, I am just now sitting down again to write about our current month’s fast from possessions. I am still delighted at how God ushered in this month with such a personally meaningful opportunity to share a treasured possession with a young woman who needed blessing and encouragement in her burdened life.
During this month focused on fasting from possessions, we will do the following:
- Go through room by room in our house and decide what we need or regularly use, and what is excess. Then we will make a plan to share that excess with others.
- We will focus on intentionally stewarding our possessions. That means caring for our possessions as if they really matter to us and as if we want them to last.
- We will be intentional about every purchase of “stuff” to be sure that we truly need it. This includes not only Tom’s and my purchases, but reminding our kids to be intentional about using their own money for needs instead of wants.
- We will study our behavior and spending habits regarding “stuff.” This will also be a great way of preparing ourselves for next month’s fast from spending.
Pausing to think for a moment about this month’s fasting commitments, I am asking myself how I can dedicate these things to the Lord. At some level, each of these things has a very specific benefit or payoff to me. #1 let’s me de-clutter. #2 helps me keep my house tidy and reduce wear and tear. #3 reigns in our spending, and #4 shines a spotlight on spending history and habits.
But that’s not enough. True fasting needs to focus on denying myself not for my sake, but for Christ’s sake.