Should a Christian Own a Lake House?

I have had the book Desiring God by John Piper on my shelf for 6 years. I bought it for Nancy as a birthday gift 10 years ago when I barely knew Christ. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. I have picked it up to read it about three times over the last decade and never got very far.

This last week ChristianAudio announced that they were giving away the audiobook for free for the month of November. Get it get it get it! You can also read it online for free.

I have just finished listening to it. Oh my is it a gold mine. This particular piece nailed me to the floor. From chapter 7:

What about the Lake Home?

So what does a pastor say to his people concerning the purchase and ownership of two homes in a world where 2,000 people starve to death every day and mission agencies cannot penetrate more unreached peoples for lack of funds ? First, he may quote Amos 3: 15-“I will smite the winter house and the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish; and the great houses shall come to an end.” Then he may read Luke 3:11, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none.”

Then he might tell about the family in St. Petersburg, Florida, who caught a vision for the housing needs of the poor. They sold their second home in Ohio and used the funds to build houses for several families in Immokalee, Florida.

Then he will ask, Is it wrong to own a second home that sits empty part of the year? And he will answer, Maybe and maybe not. He will not make it easy by creating a law. Laws can be obeyed under constraint with no change of heart; prophets want new hearts for God, not just new real estate arrangements. He will empathize with their uncertainty and share his own struggle to discover the way of love. He will not presume to have a simple answer to every lifestyle question.

But he will help them decide. He will say, “Does your house signify or encourage a level of luxury enjoyed in heedless unconcern of the needs of others? Or is it a simple, oft-used retreat for needed rest and prayer and meditation that sends people back to the city with a passion to deny themselves for the evangelization of the unreached and the pursuit of justice?”

He will leave the arrow lodged in their conscience and challenge them to seek a lifestyle in sync with the teaching and life of the Lord Jesus.





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