Do You Have Two Coats?

two coatsOne of the great leaders in the early Jesus movement was a man named John, Jesus’ cousin. We know him by his nickname – John “the Baptist.”

Someone asked him what they should do as they embraced the life God wants for all of us. He said,

“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none” (Luke 3:11).

Here’s my question.

Do You Have Two Coats?

Meaning, is there a perfectly good coat that you’re using, and then is there another coat in a closet somewhere that is in perfectly good condition that you’re not using?

I know I do.

As I’ve been minimalizing my life, I’ve been haunted by words from Christian activist Dorothy Day. She said John meant,

“If you have two coats, one of them belongs to the poor.” – Dorothy Day

Are there people who could be genuinely helped with the excess resources that you keep to yourself but rarely use?

A few weeks ago I thought, I wonder how many coats we have?

Lisa and I went to our closet and pulled out all of the coats we owned between us and laid them on our couch. Then one by one we asked, “Do I wear this coat? Do I NEED this coat?”

We identified six coats between us.

We are not wasteful spenders (my wife especially). These were simply good quality coats that we accumulated over the past three decades – coats given to us and ones we’ve purchased. We just weren’t wearing them any longer.

So, we gave them away.

About Brian Jones 87 Articles
Brian is the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He’s the author of 3 books, and a forthcoming title in Fall of 2017. You can find out more about his writing and ministry at and his ministry to Senior Pastors at