Most everyone nowadays knows the quote “Preach the Gospel always. Use words if necessary,” that is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. The basic meaning is that we should be LIVING our faith – that in many ways just telling people about it means nothing, but showing it in our daily actions is much more powerful.
And thus is the feeling behind Richard Stearns’ book “The Hole in Our Gospel,” which I read a few months ago. The book tells of Stearns’ move from corporate CEO with the big house and even bigger salary to leader of one of the largest organizations seeking to help the less fortunate. As you know, I wasn’t even halfway through the book before I was convicted to change my life. I began sponsoring two children (one through WorldVision and the other through Compassion International). By the time I finished the book I also began taking steps to donate regularly to our local food bank and spend time volunteering for a couple local organizations.
That’s what this book does – it speaks directly about the need for all of us – not just Christians, but PEOPLE – to step up, step out, and use our wealth for good. And let’s face it – most of us in this country are rich by world standards. We have homes with heating, we have clothes, we have pantries filled with food, and we can drive expensive cars and take exotic vacations and eat dinner at fancy restaurants. Most of the world’s population DOESN’T.
And the book isn’t meant as a giant guilt trip. I didn’t feel GUILTY for having things others don’t have. The book merely inspired me to do more with what I have. I’ll still go on vacations, take my kids to the movies and order the large popcorn, or splurge on new clothes when the mood strikes. But the key is balance. When the vacations, cars, clothes, etc. become MORE important than giving of myself – that’s when things are off-balance and need to change.
I heartily recommend this book. And once you are done reading it, I challenge you to do something. Anything. Because no matter how small, your contribution will be huge to someone else.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com