I understand that “life abundant” and “stuff abundant” are not the same thing. I also take seriously the charge to love God’s creation, and our current rate of consumption is choking the earth. But the embarrassing truth is that I’m also writing this article on faith and consumption because the extra money will help me afford that new dress. I want to follow Jesus, and I believe that Jesus had good reasons for sending his disciples out into the world with only one tunic. By contrast, I have seven dresses hanging in my closet and still don’t have a thing to wear.
And that’s a problem. Maybe your problem isn’t clothes but gadgets, vacations, furniture, golf clubs or that irresistible piece of chocolate cake. We all know it’s not good for us, but most of us have some consumptive habit we just can’t break.
By reflecting on Jesus’ directive to the disciples and imagining why going with only one tunic was good for them — and might be good for us.
This message is adapted from “Just one tunic” written by Sarah Scherschligt that first appeared in the July 2008 issue of Café magazine.