Just yesterday, my wife and I were discussing how it might be time to start downsizing – getting rid of some of the stuff we had accumulated over the years. ?
Sadly, on reflection, my motivation was to create more space for more stuff if I am honest. The recent Christmas season has meant more booty around the house than we had a couple of months ago – even if it is just ‘socks and jocks’. ?More things need to find a home.
In the conversation that commences this chapter, Alvin Ung responds to his colleague Paul Stevens with this comment:??The wonderful thing about practicing relinquishment is that it frees us from a grasping spirit.? We relinquish things that have a stronger grip on our soul than God ? be it possessions, social standing, family ties, friendships or bodily needs.??(Alvin Ung)The authors then explain how joyful relinquishment is the spiritual fruit that emerges when we begin to exercise self-control particularly in the area of gluttony as discussed in previous blogs.
In a work setting, there are a number of indicators that we have a deep sense of relinquishment. ?The questions in each section offer and opportunity for reflection:
- We will be content with our wages ? ?[This] practice of relinquishment is an important safeguard from the constant push for more and more ?? (Luke 3:14 and Colossians 4:1)
- Am I content with my current pay packet?
- Do I find myself wondering where I might get the next pay rise or a higher paying position?
- Do I find myself wondering what other people in the organisation or perhaps friends are paid?
- We will become free from the idolatry of money ? ?? those ? who learn the art of ongoing relinquishment will find joy in the ongoing process of going, selling and giving to the poor? (Matthew 19:16-26).
- Where is money potentially an idol in my life??
- What are the things I want to acquire – are these appropriate or examples of being acquisitive?
- We will engage successfully in spiritual warfare against the stranglehold that money has over people, organisations and even the church ? Ecclesiastes 5:10, Luke 16:3.? ?In the midst of a greedy and needy world, the real reason for embracing simplicity and relinquishment is to reflect the values of the kingdom of God?
- What are the opportunities for me to live more simply?
- What could I relinquish to make my life simpler? ?It may something I have, do or want.
- We will experience the joy of giving ? ?Gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can? (John Wesley)
- How much is ‘enough’ for you in relation to housing, vehicles, vacations and travel, clothing, eating out?
- Where could you practice John Wesley’s advice to gain, save and give all you can?
?Next time: Anger: The burning desire to control (Chapter 5)
Stevens, R. P., and Ung, A. (2010).?Taking Your Soul to Work: overcoming the nine deadly sins of the workplace.??Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans
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