Money Management that Misses the Point...
Most of us have been indoctrinated with the idea that money management or stewardship is all about us. We’re told, “Save consistently so you can provide well for your family during lean times and have an ample supply of cash for your retirement.” Is that really the point? Is security and leisure the end game in all our talk about money? Granted, saving some dough for when you get older and protecting your family from unexpected financial drama are valid pursuits. However, there is so much more to the story that we completely miss if we stop at mere financial management.
In a “me first” materialistic-driven culture, we can easily forget that to follow Jesus means to be full of generosity. I recently met a young twenty-something named Matt who told me how God had led him to give 90% of his income away. Like most who hear Matt’s story I sat thinking, “Wow that’s radical.” But is it? I think we can better label a person like Matt as being simply biblical. Followers of Jesus should be characterized by joyfully doing whatever is necessary to reveal their hearts to the world. Matt had the audacity to believe that that included how he handled money. Something in him believed that Jesus and his dream for the world was worth him sacrificing for—not out of a sense of duty, obligation, or guilt, but rather out of the sheer joy of knowing he was investing in forever!
Generosity looks different for each of us. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan to living a life of generosity. For some of us the journey toward generosity starts with us paying off dept, getting help for our compulsive shopping addiction or writing out a simple budget. If we’re honest most of us have a long way to go. Some of us haven’t taken the initial step of trusting God with our finances by tithing to our local church. Regardless, we can all start today by doing something that might feel small. What if we gave something away, something we already have? What if we sold something we already have and gave the money to someone in need or a specific initiative at our church?
When we are generous, we are being true to who God created us to be. If we are made in God’s likeness then something deep within longs to give extravagantly to others with no strings attached. The end goal in money management is simple and the same for all of us: making God visible on the earth through extravagant generosity!
“It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35 NIV, Jesus Christ
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV