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Street LifeEngaging 40 Big Issues with the street bible
By Rob Lacey Nick Page
ZondervanCopyright © 2004 Rob Lacey and Nick Page
All right reserved.
Chapter OneCharity shop
I remember catching the bus to go meet my girlfriend, looking the biz: smart shoes from Oxfam next to Woolies, chinos from British Heart Foundation near the post office, a Next shirt from Sue Ryder, ironically, 'Next' door. Realize the whole kit cost me £12.97. Which was less than my silk boxers!
I can relate to being totally skint. I can understand being loaded. But wherever I am in the cash spectrum, I'm happy - I've learned the knack. If I'm starving or stuffed full, bedsit-scumming it or penthouse posing - whatever, I'm happy. Now I've got God's energy - direct inject - there's no limits to what I can do.
Charity shops are great. But let's face it, charity shops would never exist if we didn't have too much stuff in the first place. Think about it. If you have a shop selling donated goods, you have to have enough stuff to give away.
Books, clothes, old LPs, bits and pieces; the detritus of everyday life, all the flotsam that is washed up on the beach of Western society. Isn't it amazing just how much unnecessary stuff there is in the world?
So maybe we should think before we buy. Buy from charity shops if that's what you want; after all, the profit goes to help those who need money, not those who merely want it. But don't get suckered into buying stuff you don't need, just because it's cheap. Don't fool yourself that you're only doing it 'to help the needy'. You can help them without accumulating loads of stuff. We can often harm ourselves, while all the time convinced we're doing ourselves a favour.
Matthew 6:24-34; Luke 12:13-21; Acts 2:41-47; Hebrews 10:33-35; James 2:1-9
Have nothing in your house that you do not consider to be beautiful or know to be useful. -William Morris
To try to satisfy your desires by possession is like using straw to put out a fire. -Chinese proverb
Lives based on 'having' are less free than lives based either on 'doing' or on 'being'. -William James
Theirs is an endless road, a hopeless maze, who seek for goods before they seek for God. -St Bernard of Clairvaux
Look around your life; is there stuff you can get rid of?
How would charities raise funds if we didn't have cupboards stuffed with clothes to give away?
Does this mean it's good to buy way too much stuff in the name of charity?
What motivates you to choose certain clothing? Do you buy clothes because of the looks or because of the labels?
Next time you buy something in a charity shop, pay double and watch the old lady faint.
When you buy something new, throw out something old. Bought a new pair of trousers? Give an old pair away.
Go into a charity shop and buy something. When you get outside the shop, take the price tag off, then take your purchase back in and donate it to the shop. Watch the old lady faint again.
Go through your wardrobe. If there's stuff you haven't worn for a year, maybe that's a sign you don't really need it any more.
Don't say 'I need it' when you really just want it.
Repeat out loud, 'I am what I own' until you forget all the above. Carry on shopping as before. Go out and grab those labels. Never go to the developing world, not even for a holiday.
'O Lord, what? ... Amen!'
Excerpted from Street Life by Rob Lacey Nick Page Copyright © 2004 by Rob Lacey and Nick Page. Excerpted by permission.
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