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Some Lifestyle Guru

June 7, 2009

Shape UpI had a great day yesterday at the Chinese Church in London.  I was taking part in a conference called Shape Up (How to Survive the Credit Cruch and Support People).  I was billed as a Lifestyle Guru (see picture) though I can’t decide if the image is flattering or not!

Anyway, I led a Breathing Space (group discussion) on simple living.  As ever, I was amazed at how people instinctively grasp where our current way of life is going off the rails.  We spoke about money and worry, about advertising and shopping, about technology, about where our food comes from and how we raise children.  Thankfully, the other thing I can always count on is that sharing the problems and openly discussing solutions can always lead to powerful change.  Here are some comments from the day:

“Now I’m old, my house is full of possessions and all of it is junk.  What I want to do now is devote my money to giving, and storing up treasures in heaven”

“I haven’t watched TV for 7 years, and I’ve had much more time to get out and do things”

“It’s hard being a parent.  There’s so much peer pressure on our kids, even in the church”

This last comment really got me thinking.  How do we help children to resist peer pressure?  How can the church model and encourage a different approach?  We’re going to give this some thought in our house and make some tentative suggestions, but it would be great to know others’ ideas, too.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    June 9, 2009 8:44 am

    Being a youth, and a fair distance from being a parent, I can really only say what has helped me resist peer pressure.

    The main thing that has helped is knowing that ultimately, what my peers think of me doesn’t matter; what really matters is what Christ thinks of me. Three comparisons reinforced that: jesus is perfect, my friends definately are not; Jesus will always be with me, whilst I may never meet my school friends again after school and Jesus is unchanging: what he cares about does not change. Meanwhile, my friends opinions can shift in a matter of weeks.

    As far as church goes, perhaps, asides from good teaching, there ought to be an environment where people are celebrated for being the individual that Christ wants them to be; regardless of style or your personal opinion. Sharing of possessions between families could be encouraged – reducing unnecessary consumption.

    Just some ideas at any rate.

    • Mark permalink
      June 11, 2009 11:27 am

      Thanks Stephen. I think you’re right – especially as young people grow older a lot of this stuff is about identity. If you know the identity God has given you through Jesus, you won’t be as susceptible to peer pressure. That’s a challenge to me in raising my kids.

      I hope to post some other ideas next week.

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