Let’s make sure the Joneses are okay [Time Out]

Topic / Time Out

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
by Adam Wormann

I read a great quote the other day from Jim Wallis:

“It’s time to stop keeping up with the Joneses and start making sure the Joneses are okay.”

Yeah, good point.

We’re guilty of that as people. We’re guilty of that as youth pastors. We get that way as moms and dads. We compare. We compare our ministries, our car, our iPads, and just about everything else. We don’t mean to, it’s just a trap that we kind of get sucked into all the time. The first problem is our contentment. We know about that, we hear about that end of it often enough in churches (well, maybe not often enough, but we hear about it). It’s often contentment issues that lead to our needing more. That’s only half of the problem though.

The other half of the problem though is that even when we brake away from the stuff trap, our focus never really comes back to where it needs to. Our focus still comes back to us breaking our stuff habit. It doesn’t come to others. Let’s just start with this week. Can we all work together to make sure the Joneses are okay? Here’s what we can do:

  • Instead of worrying about buying something new consumer oriented (iPad, TV, fuzzy dice for the car), let’s make sure one of our physical neighbors isn’t in need first. Maybe for now, we just put money aside and actually get to know our neighbors. Then we can know if there’s needs, and have the money put aside down the road.
  • Instead of thinking about how big someone’s youth group is, check on their youth pastor to see how their doing. Chances are, if they’re in youth ministry, they could use someone to come alongside them for emotional support.
  • Instead of concentrating on someone else’s kid, spend some more time with your own. No matter how much time you’re spending with them, a little more couldn’t hurt.
  • Instead of criticizing your church leaders, see how you can help and serve them.

Because in the end, it’s not all about us. It’s not about what we have, it’s about what we give. How can you serve someone rather than keep up with them today?

I didn’t include Scripture here, because I didn’t feel like pulling a verse out would really fit. We know that the Scriptures continually teach concern for others, especially the poor and those who are hurting. Let’s just go do it.

Posted on September 19, 2011

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