A Lesson From Two

As many of you know, I like nice things, but when I build something I always make 2 of them.
The reason for the doubles is a theological one! When I was interning under Dr. Landon
Dowden at Crosspoint church in Baton Rouge, one of my co-interns asked a unique question,
for his father had just bought a new Jaguar car. The question he posed was, “is it wrong for a Christian to own nice things?”
Landon’s answer has rung in my ears and from my pulpit since that day. “It is ok for a believer to own nice things, so long as they are willing to give them away.”

A passage that Landon took us to underscores this concept.  
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[d] came upon every soul, and
many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who
believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their
possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes,
they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having
favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who
were being saved.

“A believer of sound doctrine is not only one who understands the impact of the Gospel for
salvation, but also the tangible things of life.” When I was in undergrad at Samford University
I managed the men’s department of Banana Republic, by the time I did my pastoral internship
under Landon, I owned nothing but Banana
Republic. After this day’s conversation, I quit buying things of the sort, for I couldn’t bring
myself to give them away. See, when we grasp the Gospel and what Christ did, we should
understand that the Gospel calls us to give (or at least be willing to) our best just as Christ
gave his all.

Here’s my litmus test for you, as taught to me by Landon:
  1. Did I buy this thing for a status symbol?
  2. Could I buy something to accomplish the same task for cheaper?
  3. Would I be willing to give it away if someone had need? (or sell it)

The result of these three questions was that I quite buying Mac (Apple products), Banana
Republic, and name brand foods (except condiments). Another great result of these three
questions is that I began the quest of making all of my own stuff; furniture, leatherwork,
motorcycle, and now watches. I believe giving to others is a means of demonstrating to
non-believers how we “love one another.”

This is a simple concept that I teach to all that I disciple, but I remind them that it takes years to truly learn.

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