Why Sarah Went On A 365 Day Spending Fast

This post was guest-written by Sarah – I’ve written about her spending fast previously HERE.  Today marks the end of her 365 day spending fast – Congratulations!!!

=== Sarah’s post ===

I’m Greedy.  So what?

Once, a baby peed all over my lap because his mom didn’t have any diapers.  Once, I held the hand of a homeless man who was in agony, and he couldn’t tell me why.  Once, a woman said “God bless you!!” with a huge, toothless smile when I had only given her half a sandwich.

The poor exist because we have not learned to love our neighbor as ourselves. (credit to Shane Claiborne for opening my eyes to that in a whole new way…)

I claim to be a Christian; to follow Jesus Christ.  “Love your neighbor as yourself” is his commandment, second only to loving God with all we are.  It’s funny how those link hand-in-hand so closely.  If we claim to love God without loving our neighbor, can God’s love really be in us? (1 John 3:17)  Recently, I’ve begun to see how much I am failing at this.  I am greedy!  So what?

“If you have two coats, one of them belongs to the poor.” – Dorothy Day (…but the guy that baptized Jesus said it first!)

I have three coats.  Actually, four.

I buy myself things I don’t need all the time.  Those shoes that were on sale. That little dress I might wear… someday.  A wall hanging I just fell in love with.  More CD’s, books, movies – why not?!

I’m afraid to count how many t-shirts are in my drawer.

We all buy things we don’t need, and we all have neighbors that need. So what?

You already know this – we live in a community and nation that is obsessed with more, bigger, better. The more we get, the more we want. Our stuff “expires” fast and then we want to buy more stuff. When will we stop believing in stuff?  Meanwhile, your neighbor has an empty fridge.  My neighbor has no friends. Their neighbor has no home.  Still, so what?

We have an opportunity to change things; the only thing I can change is me.

Will you join me?

As a result of personal conviction on this issue, I realize I need to confess my greed and throw it away.  So I confess to you now – I am greedy, and I am sorry! On March 21st 2011, I resolved to buy nothing new for myself for 365 days.  I will shop at second hand stores only.  I will borrow and share.  I will give what I do not need to those who need it more.  I want to be free from always wanting, and I pray this resolution changes me from the inside out. Every time I see something new that I want to buy, instead I’ll turn to God and say thanks for all the ways He has already taken care of me. Filled and inspired by the love of Jesus, I’ll throw my old self away and put on a new way to live. (Ephesians 4:21-24)

Will you join me in buying nothing new for a day, a week, a month, a year, whatever you choose…?  Instead, give that money to someone you know that needs it, or take a bag of groceries to the food bank or a friend, or support your local church, or sponsor a child through Compassion, or send some flowers.

Will you let it change you?

=== End of Sarah’s post ===

One of the finest and most convicting posts I’ve read in some time.  Your thoughts?

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  1. Mark Asbell (@MarkAsbell) on March 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

    WOW! Amazing insight, inspiration, and challenge for us all. Thank you Sarah.

  2. Duante Duckett on March 21, 2012 at 8:16 am


  3. Jamey Dixon on March 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Man what an eye opener! Things I take for granted everyday will be looked at in a different light.

  4. Trish Crossley on March 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I am inspired by Sarah’s heart and discipline to go a WHOLE YEAR without buying anything new. Thanks for sharing your journey, Sarah!

  5. Tameika on March 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Now that is powerful!

  6. Johnny Hall on March 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Awesome!Just think what God could do thru His Church if all Christians took this mind set. Newspring this is the way we reach 100,000+. Thanks Sarah very well said!

  7. Terri Dickson on March 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Wow… I have said for so long I want to have more money to give to others and to be able to bless those people in need. Never had a problem sharing clothes, shoes or food. But honestly I neve gave thought to a total spending fast. Gonna pray about this and see what God directs! Thank you Sarah for caring!

  8. Dan Hamilton on March 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks Sarah for the inspiration thats truely awesome! I just finished Joe’s iwas broke now I’m not learing.I have prayed that Jesusu would show me what he wants me to do for him today. I believe i get it now!! the charity and savings for giving!while trusting my lord!! thanks for sharing Sarah! Thank you Joe Sang for your learning education. So many of us need that!!i Dan hamilton

  9. Lindsay on March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I have shopped as the LORD guides me, trying to be a good steward of my blessings and finances. The LORD does provide for our needs always. I have been ill and now as I recover I require larger clothes as I have gone from 80 pounds to 100 pounds. I prayed for guidence as clothes are so expencive and my disability funds are limited. The LORD gave me a nudge to go to Walmart,(where I never buy clothes due to the cost), but I went because I felt I was told to. Almost the entire ladies department was on sale from $1.00 to $5.00 due to construction. I got clothing there for less than the second hand store and it was awesome. Imagine a new skirt for church for only a dollar! Pants, tops, warm coats all from a dollar to five dollars. The coat was $22.00 before the construction and I would only admire it, not buy it. Now I have a real warm coat and five outfits all for under $20.00. The LORD takes such good care of me. I saved enough to buy some hot meals for a few homeless individuals, and also buy some shoes for a fellow that had none, with a little left over to add to my tithing. Thank you LORD for your love and kindness. Blessings I try to share. You are an awesome power of example Sarah, thank you.

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