**”Triumphs!” is a section of this blog where I share the success stories of those living out their dreams and how they are financially able to do that.**
Meet my friend, Josh Brink. Josh just came back from living for 8 months in Uganda with his wife and three kids. This is the second time they’ve gone over for an extended (over 6 months) time and they’re planning on going again next year.
I asked him to write some thoughts on money and how he’s been able to live such a missional lifestyle that rejects the norms of American consumerism. He doesn’t have a 40 hour a week traditional job or a ministry job, but he’s actually living out his faith without forsaking the practical needs of his family. Here are his reflections on his journey so far and 8 financial principles he’s learned.
Bootstrapping for the Awesome
My story can be summed up simply: I suck but Jesus is awesome. I learned that truth 11 years ago when I thought that I was awesome and that Jesus sucked. When I used to think I was awesome I had clear plans on how to create a life that was completely self-indulgent and easy. Fortunately Jesus made it clear from the beginning that life with him would not be either of those things, but life with him would be awesome. With some divine slaps to the face I became convinced to pursue the awesome.
In my pursuit of awesome I have been aware of a very simple truth: when awesome knocks on the door you better open it. When Jesus says hey I want you to learn how to farm and spread the gospel in East Africa, you better open that door. When Jesus says I want you to be available for your brother as he detoxes, you better open that door. When Jesus says I want you to work at a church and not pull a salary, you better open that door. When Jesus says I want you to invite that crazy lady to come live with you, you better open that door. They all lead to awesome.
I learned 8 years ago that the number one thing that keeps me from opening that door is MONEY, not a lack of it but a commitment to it. Committed to making a certain amount to feel valuable, committed to paying someone back that I borrowed from, committed to “pay my parents back” for investing in my future, committed to providing comfort for my family. All LIES that keep the door shut.
Here is what I have learned about money:
- Debt sucks.
- Sharing is better than owning.
- Living with people is cheaper and more fulfilling than working overtime to cover housing.
- Being poor is not that bad. The coolest most inspiring people I know are POOR.
- People gravitate towards awesome and adventure not success and money.
- It really is better to give than receive, and you can give way more than just money.
- The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything. – Chuck Palahniuk
- Jesus should be the only one to give you permission to raise your standard of living.
In summary, don’t suck – be awesome.