Written by Chris King
It’s not yours, and it’s not ours. Once you figure that out about money, everything else falls into place. Our culture teaches us to chase after big houses, fancy cars, and piles of money, but all God wants is our hearts. By grasping the concept that God is the ultimate giver, sacrificing his only son for us, we can begin to understand who God wants us to be with money.
The interesting part is that God asks for only a tenth of what we manage for Him. A tenth. Not half, not most of it, a tenth. And, by far, most professing Christians don’t give anywhere close to that. The saddest part is how many blessings those who have not let go of their attachment to money are missing. I don’t necessarily mean financial blessings, although, there certainly are financial blessings along the way.
I’m speaking of the joy that you experience when being outrageously generous. Giving money away is honestly the most fun you will ever have with money.
It might take you a while to get there emotionally, but try it. Provide Christmas for a single mother of 4 children (one of which has serious health problems) who just lost the family home in a disaster. Tell me you don’t feel like you are flying miles above the earth in a reindeer-drawn sleigh with a red suit and a white beard, and it will confirm you don’t even have a pulse. Imagine yourself in her shoes with no hope, and through the love of Christ, all of her prayers are answered. The tears roll down her face as little bumps rise up on your arms and the back of your neck.
It’s an incredible feeling to be a conduit for God’s love. I’ve experienced it in Kairos prison ministry simply being generous with kindness and love. I’ve experienced it through the ministry of The Cajun Army coordinating thousands of volunteers from all over the country gutting over 1000 flooded homes for people who had no hope. In the book of Matthew, (Matt 5:13-16) Jesus tells us:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Be salt and light. It’s more fun than being stingy–I promise!
At the service kicking off FUMC’s annual generosity renewal, I quoted the lyrics of a song by a band, The Civil Wars. The song is From This Valley, and the line is, “Oh, the caged bird dreams of a strong wind that will flow beneath her wings.” This image depicts the turning point in a life of generosity. Will you continue to be the “caged bird” that dreams of a “strong wind”, or will you soar and feel the wind flowing beneath your wings?
It’s much more fun to soar than to sit in that cage! God has so many blessings and opportunities for you to bless other people. And, the great part about it is that you get to choose. Choose wisely, friends. God bless you, and happy giving.