Eugene Cho

“generosity is what keeps the things i own from owning me.”

Let’s be honest. We all like our “stuff” and spend lots of money buying stuff, upgrading our stuff, getting more stuff, collecting our stuff, strutting our stuff, and wanting more stuff.

It’s not that I’m against stuff but I am for a life growing in generosity (thus the birth of One Day’s Wages).

What if we all took some time to examine the “excess” we have in our lives and chose to sell some of our stuff so that others who are living in extreme poverty may simply have an opportunity for the “other stuff” we take for granted such as water, education, medicine, food, etc.

Here’s one story of someone that chose to sell her “excess” that inspired  me. Melissa P. lives in Seattle, Washington (USA). She was inspired by the vision of ODW and in response, sold her motorcycle and gave all the proceeds to ODW. We recently asked her a few questions:

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Seattle with my roommates and my dog. I am a speech therapist working at a school. I dance, read, and bike in my spare time.

Why did you choose to join the movement of ODW?

I believed in the mission and message. I wanted to do my part.

You sold your motorcycle to help support ODW. Why did you choose to do that?

I wanted to support ODW in a tangible way. I was considering things in my life that I could give, and I realized that my motorcycle (which I loved when I was riding her!) was sitting idle. The motorcycle was part of the “excess” that I kept just so that I could have it, not because I needed it or was using it. It seemed better to sell it for the cause, so that I was both giving up unnecessary things, and supporting a cause I believed in. I told people interested in buying it what I was doing, so they could learn about ODW too!

Thanks Melissa for your generosity. Learning of your story reminded us of this quote:

Generosity is what keeps the things I own from owning me.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to plan for an upcoming Spring garage sale?🙂  Anyone?


originally posted on the ODW blog

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7 Responses

  1. Chet Galaska says:

    “Stuff” really can own people. Sometimes you’ll see an expensive new car parked a distance from others and straddling two spaces to reduce the chances of dings. The same care and mental attention goes for lots of other material things we own for, what, ego gratification?

    Better to put your faith in Christ, liquidate some of your stuff, cleanse yourself of the burden of caring for it, and give to those who truly need it.

    You don’t have to own a Hummer to know what I mean! The tag sale idea is great!

  2. Brandon Cox says:

    What a tremendous message in that quote – you’re absolutely right! Rick Warren talks about the three biggest killers of ministry today – lack of purity, lack of humility, and lack of generosity.

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by brandonacox: RT @EugeneCho: “Generosity is what keeps the things I own from owning me.” ~

  4. Thame Fuller says:

    God made it plain to us once that the things we were holding on to were holding us back from His will for us. When we let go, our great adventure into vocational ministry began. Letting go is liberating.

  5. thejourneywithnoend says:

    Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy swinging by, It reminds me of our HOPE in Christ living in US!!!

    Many Blessings!

    Isaiah 1

  6. […] blog about it, then I saw the title of this blog post and thought he said it much better than me:  “Generosity is what keeps the things I own from owning me.” Since Eugene already said it better than me, let me keep quoting him: What if we all took some time […]

  7. […] got to loosen our grip on this world. Or as my friend, Eugene Cho […]

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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