Since you may not read past the first few lines of this blog I will start with the challenge and then back it up with the Why below.
CHALLENGE: Go through your coat closet and only keep what is necessary. Donate the abundance to a ministry that can use it. If you are looking for a ministry and are in the Cartersville, GA area I will list two below. If you are not in Cartersville then I promise there is someplace nearby that can use you coats! Call a local church to get started.
West Ridge Church – Cartersville will have a free coat shop on Dec 8th for those in need. Contact me or West Ridge directly to donate. http://westridge.com/
Love Covers All Ministry – has a free clothing ministry to all in need. They have 2 monthly meetings where people can come and collect all types of apparel. Contact me or LCA directly to donate. www.SeekingGrace.org/LoveCoversAll
The WHY: I don’t know if you read the Bible and take it literally but I do. I believe that if God says to do something that He means it. I don’t think that His desires have changed just because we are Americans or because we have a disturbing level of abundance.
“He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.’” Luke 3:11
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Acts 2:44-45
First, I know a tunic isn't a coat, it is more like an undershirt for a garment but the idea translates and it is cold outside. So, I went through my closet and looked at my coats, do you know how many coats I have? NINE. They are not all heavy winter coats but they definitely provide assistance in blocking out the cold. Seriously, NINE coats. If I wore a different one every day it would take more than a week to use them all. So I have decided that I don’t need nine coats. I am keeping a heavy coat, a lighter coat that can get dirty (on the farm) and a lightweight jean jacket my hubby loves. The rest are in wonderful condition and would definitely bless someone who needs a coat to be warm.
How did I get to a place of coat hoarding? Well, I am 32 and I have always lived in abundance. My parents didn't go crazy with “stuff” but I have never known need in my life. I am also a very messy person. I think some of it is genetic (no really, it’s almost laughable) but I think the bulk of it comes from the fact that I grew up in a disposable society. I believe that some of my lack of care of my things is because I knew that it was replaceable and for the most part I am still that way. I don’t have to take care of it. I don’t believe that people who have little in life treat their things with such unimportance. If you only had 1 coat you would dust it off when it got dirty, you would hang it up so you would always know where it is. If you only had 2 pairs of pants you would wash them and fold them neatly and put in a place where you would know where they were for the next day.
I look in my closet (my hubby gave me the bigger one with a door so he wouldn't have to see my mess) and I look at clothing that someone else would not only take care of but be extremely thankful for and it is in a pile on my floor. Lord, You have given me so much and I treat it with disdain. God, please cut open my heart and remove these dark spots of ungratefulness and lack of care. I believe that I am to continue to go through my entire closet and give until I have what is necessary for life and manageable for a “messy” like me. I will know that I have achieved the goal set before me when my closet is neat and tidy and stays that way. I do not want to raise a child that believes that things are disposable when there are so many hungry and cold children in our country and our world. I want her to understand that every good gift is from the Lord (James 1:17) and we are responsible to take care of the things He has given to us. I will leave you with an idea that my pastor shared this past week… it was fabulous.
God doesn't give to us so we can keep for ourselves; He gives TO us to give THROUGH us!