I have been thinking a lot about money lately. Maybe because Friday was a fundraiser for Mexico, Saturday I worked, and in a couple weekends my pastor & his wife, Josh and Katie, are having a fundraiser for their adoption. So money has just been on my brain.
I’ve been thinking about being generous. All my life growing up, my parents have stressed the importance of saving. Don’t spend too much, only use money when absolutely necessary, etc.
but lately I’ve been wondering if that’s truly the best approach. Absolutely, I don’t believe one should spend frivolously, and I believe one should search for the best deal when he desires to buy something. I do not, however, believe that being stingy is the definition of being a good steward.
I was talking to my dad last week, and I told him how my pastor had to raise 30,000 dollars in order to adopt a child. My dad was like “Don’t they already have three kids? Why do they want to adopt?”
And I was like…why wouldn’t they want to adopt? They can raise another child to love Jesus and change the world…what could be better than that?
I guess people just look at money differently. I’m trying to be very generous in my finances, but not foolish. I do not just buy junk; all my purchases are carefully weighed (except that one McFlurry after babysitting a screaming baby for 8 hours…). I’m talking about being generous to show love, compassion, and friendliness. Being generous in how much I give back to God, how much I give to others, and relying that my needs will still be met.
God has always been faithful to me financially, so it’s not really something I have ever thought about until Josh preached about it. He stressed the importance of being willing to let God use our money and not holding on too tightly. I’ve been keenly aware of little feelings of trying to be more generous than I usually am, and not exactly feeling comfortable with it. But then I kind of just remind myself that it’s God’s money, and that being generous with it just showed someone else God’s love, and it gets easier. I actually quite enjoy it; it seems the less I think about making money and the more I just try to enjoy my work, the more faithful God is in keeping my finances in check. I absolutely love my job(s); God has been so faithful to bring along opportunities at just the right moments in my life. Pretty cool.
One thing Josh talked about was an income ceiling; deciding how much is absolutely necessary to live on, including saving for retirement and such, and giving the rest back to God. I really, really like that idea. I plan on scoping it out more as I become more financially independent and such. When I mentioned it to my mom, she was like “Well that’s a nice idea and all, but you need to make sure you have money for emergencies.”
I see both sides of that statement. I see it as being a planner, and playing it safe; but I also see it as a lack of faith. If you say to God, “Hey, I’m giving all this excess back to You, because it’s what You told me to do,” how can a God who is so good and so faithful look at that and be like “yeah, well, that was stupid, because you have this bill over here, good luck trying to pay it”? I don’t see that as feasible. I believe that God is so much bigger than what we believe He is. We put Him in little boxes and tell Him where He can use His infinite power. We make it too easy for God, we have no idea how BIG He really is.
“Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…” I read that verse in…2 Timothy? the other day, talking about people in the end times. I believe we live like that, a lot. We have a shadow of living with God, but we don’t fully throw ourselves into His arms and go for the ride. It’s like trying to blow dry your hair without plugging in the hairdryer–you have the answer to your problem, but you’re too afraid to let it work like it’s supposed to, and you only end up frustrated, and everyone watching you ends up discouraged.
Yeah, it’s a big problem.
Not sure what the point of this was. Just thinking, I suppose. Be generous; Josh made an excellent point that God will work through generous people more, because generous people don’t care who gets the credit. What about you? Do you want to be noticed? Do you give as freely as you have received?
[PS: I tried to make a hyperlink, but I can’t figure it out…anywho, here’s Josh and Katie’s adoption blog; if you guys could send up prayers for them, their family, the child, and everyone involved, that’d be awesome…it’s a big decision, and it’s super exciting!! I’m excited to see how an adoption works, maybe take notes for later? who knows, but that’s another story ;) http://reichadoption.wordpress.com/ Yay the link worked!!!]