How can Christians practically pursue a ‘radical’ lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily involve selling everything and moving overseas? What does it look like to live ‘radically’ in the decisions we make? In this video, David Platt shares how writing his book “Radical” shaped his perspective towards housing and lifestyle decisions. After writing his book, David came to the realization that in order to live radically, he and his family needed to re-evaluate what it means to be faithful stewards, leading them to take a contentment-based approach to their housing and lifestyle decisions. As David and his family pursued faithful stewardship, they discovered more opportunities to be generous towards others.
- Faithful Stewardship
All right, David. So personally, some people, they know you’ve written the book Radical, maybe that’s all they’ve read. And so, they picture you possibly living out in a tent, out in a field or something, but what does living radically look like for David Platt?
What Does Living Radically Look Like for David Platt?
That’s a great question. Yeah, I hope people don’t have that picture. I’m certainly not trying to give that picture and well, let me just debunk that picture if it’s there. We don’t live in a tent. We actually have a home in the suburbs and we have a minivan, so…
So you don’t feel like a hypocrite then?
Right, and I don’t feel like a hypocrite. So here’s the process. I mean, all of this started with personal conviction in my own life, in saying, “Okay, if I believe this book, then there are things in my life that don’t make sense with some lifestyle decisions we’ve made, even with the…”
Okay for us, yeah, the house we lived in, I don’t think was a responsible use of our resources and a variety of other things. We’re going to list those things out. Began to walk with my wife through a journey where we began say, “Okay, is this the best use of our life?” In a first Timothy 6 kind of way. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Have we established a good level of contentment so we’re not just indulging in more and bigger and better in this world as we have opportunity?
Are we content? And then, free, in a first Timothy 6:18 kind way, to be generous and ready to share as much as possible from what God’s given us? And so, we began a process where we said, “Okay, our house, we need to be better stewards with where we live. We have more than we need.” And I even hesitate to use that statement. I mean, even need we know is relative. I mean, there are people around the world that… Our brothers and sisters, who don’t sleep on beds at night. Well, we’ve got a bed. And so, do we need a bed? Not necessarily, but we’ve got a bed. And so, I think there will always be, particularly as for long as we’re living in this culture, things that we have that are just part of our culture. And so, I want to be careful and there’s no…it’s not bad to have a bed or not good to not have a bed. That’s not the point.
What Is Wise Stewardship?
So my wife and I begin this process where we say, “Okay, where are we going to live?” And it was such a sanctifying process for both of us. I have such a patient wife. She is so good to me because I remember we sat down and we were making out a list of things that… What are we looking for in a home? What would be a wise stewardship? And so, we make our list. [inaudible 00:02:48] What are the top fives things you need? And so, we wrote them down and then, we came together and said, “Okay, what are the top five?” And I think one of the first things on her list was a place for the kids to play somewhere nearby, either yard or some place where our kids, we have four kids, to be able to be outside in some way.
And so, my first thing was water. And she was like, “You can’t put water That’s a…” I was like, “Well, not everybody in the world has water. I want to make sure we got water.” And so, anyway, my wife is so patient with me. So we began this process and it was so wonderful to see how the Lord stretched us both and brought us onto the same page with, “Okay, what is a wise stewardship of our resources in a home that is sustainable long term in this culture?”
And that was part of it too. And we asked the question, “Okay, is the Lord… Lead me to continue to pastor the church at Brook Hill’s? And if so, then it is wisest for me to live in the community around Church Brook Hills.” So there were places that were much farther away from here that were much cheaper, but that would affect ministry that I know the Lord’s called me too.
And so that’s why we’re still in the suburbs. That’s where the church I pastor gathers together for worshiping. And so, we’re there. And some people have even thought, “Well, is David Platt against suburbs?” No, most of the church is in suburbs. Now, some people the Lord has caused to move into other parts of our city for his glory and we rejoice in that, but we’ve not said everybody needs to be doing that and you should feel sub-Christian if you’re not.
A Continuous Process
So all that to say, that’s how it worked out with our home and then just with other decisions, and it continues. It’s a process that continues where we’re continually evaluating our budget, evaluating our use of time, or evaluating our use of all kinds of resources that God has entrusted to us for how can our family best be used to make the gospel known in Birmingham and from Birmingham to the ends of the earth and continually putting a blank check on the table and saying, “Whatever you want us to do, even if it doesn’t make sense to us and doesn’t make sense to the culture around us, we’ll do whatever you’re calling us to do.” And just to see what the Lord is… How the Lord leads in our life and others’ lives in the same way.