In your life, where would you like to experience more self-control? Would finances make it onto your list?
Read Hebrews 11:32-40.
The Book of Judges describes the life of Israel in the promised land from the death of Joshua to the rise of the monarchy (Saul, etc.). Twelve judges led Israel during this period. Isn’t it ironic that two of the men mentioned in Hebrews 11 are also mentioned in the Book of Judges?
“I do not have time to tell of…Samson…and…Samuel” (Hebrews 11:32).
Yet while Samson and Samuel are mentioned in the same passage in Hebrews, there are big differences between them. Let’s examine one of them and determine which man we will learn from and possibly imitate. The difference I want to examine is the area of finances.
Samson was greedy and manipulating whereas Samuel practiced integrity. One day Samson bet thirty Philistines that they couldn’t solve his riddle, saying, “If you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothing” (Judges 14:13). Quite a wardrobe, huh?
Samson’s emphasis seemed to be, “you shall give to me.” He is an example of Christians in business that discredit the cause of Christ by unethical practices, and those in ministry who twist the Scriptures and use emotional manipulation to raise money.
Samuel was totally different. After forty years of exemplary leadership, the people of Israel said this about him: “You have not cheated or oppressed us” (1 Samuel 12:4).
When others can say the same about you, you know you did it right!
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). The condition of your heart is revealed in how you handle your finances.
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship has a motto for college students involved with our campus chapters: We call them to “pray, give, go, and welcome” (i.e., offer hospitality, particularly to international students). Our view of giving, or stewarding what God has given us involves: 1) trusting God for his provision, 2) living within our means, 3) tithing on the first 10% of our income, 4) making a monthly faith promise to missions, 5) giving offerings as requested (and as you are able), 6) saving for the future, and 7) paying off debt as soon as possible.
Make it a point to nurture the regular action of giving generously, not for the reward, but to honor God. Good exercise for the heart and soul is to bend down and help another person up. As a steward, how can you use your financial resources in a responsible manner to build the Lord’s Kingdom and serve others? Cultivate financial practices that put your treasure in right places.
Walk wisely. What can you do this week to be a cheerful giver? How can you practice the seven components of biblical stewardship that we promote in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship?
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz