My pastor is a skilled communicator. One area that he addresses regularly is the connection between faith and money. He says he does so because Jesus spoke about money so much (as do the Old and New Testament writers).
My pastor says money can be a pain some times because it reveals so much about our heart. Money can contribute to us being angry, stingy, sad, uncomfortable, nervous, worried, too comfortable, and even happy.
Men and women are all over the place when it comes to finances, money, stewardship, and cash. But it is apparent that it is often a heart issue. I know I get agitated when I read of an athlete or entertainer who had millions and squandered it on impulse-driven activities, poor management, or even selfish pursuits. Wasteful, even.
Yet how many of rejoice when a birthday card comes and a relative stuck a $20 bill inside? Or a friend surprises us by taking us out for a meal? Or someone covers a debt of ours?
A college student stopped by to see my neighbor recently in the fanciest car I had ever seen. This fellow is a junior at the University of Virginia and had been hosted by my neighbor as a foreign exchange student for a few years while in high school. I thought that selling that car could cover my missionary budget for the next 4 years.
Does it make you sad, or even angry when a friend has enough money to purchase stuff, or do things that you would like to, but you cannot afford to?
Money does have the ability at times to appear to be in control (too much at times), of our lives. Are we guilty of hoarding our financial resources? Are we practicing basic financial stewardship of tithing on our income, making a faith promise to missions, saving for the future, giving offerings as requested, and living within our means?
Do you allow money to dictate your emotional steadiness? Do you put more effort into acquiring money than building mutually-beneficial relationships? Do you believe it is better to give than receive? Are you more concerned about what you don’t have, as opposed to how your standard of living is guiding you, and how others-centered your stewardship actually is?
Read Acts 20:32-35.
Why do you believe it is better to give than receive?
The New Testament writers present the idea that we need a proper appreciation of money in order to handle it wisely and generously. They teach that using money for others will benefit them more than merely using it on ourselves. It shifts our focus to help those who don’t have enough instead of coveting what others have. It reminds us to loosen the grip money can have on us when we give it away. It can prompt us to remember that merely accumulating wealth cannot, and is not, the key to happiness. Jesus says being blessed results from giving it away.
What are some ways you can change your money habits so you can provide more for others? What have you done recently that suggests you believe it is better to give than receive?
Walk wisely. If you are looking for monetary freedom, use your financial resources wisely and be a generous giver. Giving away money is the route to stewardship and happiness.
Love is a verb,
©2020 by Mike Olejarz