“Send to me a $213 seed offering before September 30th, and God will give you double-portion blessing in your finances.” These were the words of a televangelist on my TV screen last week. It was hard to watch! I think church planters and pastors get a little gun-shy about talking about wealth in church because they don’t want to be associated with nutjobs like this televangelist who drives a black Cadillac Escalade with reverse spinning chrome rims. But, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God and money more than any other subjects. I needed to apologize to our church for not talking more about money than I have!
Here’s a factual true statement that almost all statistics support: the more money we (North) American’s make, the less we give! The side effects of being wealthy are denial and discontentment. We don’t think WE are rich (of course we know others who are)! But the truth is, the more we have, the more we want!
Wealth is either surrendered to God, or it becomes a god. Timothy Keller in his book “Counterfeit God” says, “Money flows effortlessly to that which is its god.” It’s so true. We have money to spend for the things we really want, and then claim we have no money to give! Part of our blindness is due to the fact that materialism and greed get a free pass in our culture. When is the last time someone accused their neighbor of having too many big screen TV’s? What we’re more likely to say (or think) is, “Dude! That’s an awesome TV! You have 4? Awesome!”
If you earn, as a household, $40K/year, you are in the top 7% of wage earners in the world! If you earn $50K a year, you are in the top 5% wage earners! The truth is, WE ARE RICH! That’s the good news! The bad news is that WE ARE RICH!
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. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 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
So, the question is: are we good at being rich, or, are we bad at being rich?
Next week I’ll share more about these verses in 1 Timothy and how much one should give, to whom or what you should give, and why. Hope you’ll join us!