Less is More

A new friend (and customer!) said to me last week, "Now if I was to buy a whole ethically-made wardrobe, I would have to be happy with less clothes because I just couldn't buy as much."

Bingo.

Our love for EXCESS is one of the contributing factors to cheap, fast fashion in America. We have demonstrated a DEMAND for lots of clothing options in the very latest styles and colors. Many overseas manufacturers will meet that demand by almost any means necessary. Including slave labor. Including CHILD labor. Including an unsafe work environment.

But many of us also say that at the end of the day, we would prefer ONE beautiful, long-lasting piece over 2 or 3 cheaply-made, one-season, fall-apart-in-the-wash garments. 

So what's going on?

We have a CULTURE of excess. Our kids have too many toys, we eat too much food, we have so much stuff in the house we need a bigger garage or storage unit, we take thousands of pictures and need more digital storage, even our schedules are overloaded and it stresses us out. 

I'm reading Jen Hatmaker's book "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" and I think she hits the nail right on the head! We have too much! We need space for the things that really matter! And we MUST teach our children to be different!

:)

Less is More, do you agree? Do you see areas of excess in your life? What comes to mind first?

What are you bringing into the world?

Guest post from Emily Leigh

There is an old, old story that many people know and those that follow the Jewish God hold dear. The story is about Abram (later Abraham) and his wife Sarai (later Sarah). They responded to God’s call to become a separate family that would follow only this God. God promises many things, but one of those things is that those whom Abram curses will be cursed and those whom he blesses will be blessed. 

We love that verse because it gives us power. However, we tend to think of that power as verbal only. What I mean is that we think, “If I say the words, ‘I bless you with health’ then God is honor bound to give health.” Conversely, “If I say, ‘Curse you’ the person will be inescapably cursed.” 

If we walk through this story with the inimitable scholar Walter Brueggemann, we can see a little bit further. 

Abram believes God and leaves his homeland. This is the same as doing the most countercultural thing you can think of – like moving to a third world country to start a business hiring only the poorest of the poor like Purnaa. The land that God has promised him is in the middle of a famine. I have to think that at some point one of the two of them must have thought, “Thanks God – a desert.” 

Abram does the most logical thing and moves to a country that had food. In this case it is Egypt. Abram is terrified that Sarai’s beauty will cause pharaoh to have him killed, so he lies. 

I think that this is one reason Isaac took so long to be born. I mean how long would it take you to forgive your spouse for putting you in a harem to save his or her own skin!

Anyway, Pharaoh’s household came down with a plague of some sort. The story goes on to have a happy ending, but we want to hang out here a little bit. Abram caused a curse.

“Wait!” you yell. “He didn’t use the formula, ‘I curse you.’” 

Right, he didn’t. This is why the text is so important and has such validity for us today. Abram didn’t outright curse Pharoah, but his actions – lying, deceit, selfishness – all brought a curse. 

It got me thinking, what am I doing that brings a curse or a blessing to the world? Am I, as a Christian bringing God’s kingdom on earth? Am I bringing blessing by my trust in God and selflessness? 

Since I am committed to working, even in a small part, toward redeeming those caught in sex slavery or exploitation, this question is important. What am I doing, today, to bring blessing to those people? It can be as simple as a note to Purnaa. Or, choosing to buy products that are ethically made like those here at evanbrooke. What are you going to do, today, to bring blessing to those caught in exploitation? Comment below and let us know what you are doing to fight today.