“When it comes to discipleship we say, “Pray, fast, read and worship to grow in faith, obedience and fellowship with God.” My question is, “Why not include giving?”
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A young pastor recently said to me, “Two-thirds of our church’s members are 65 years and older. What I want to know is this… Once they’re gone, where is all their wealth going?”
Whoa! Now there’s a question that doesn’t get asked every day!
“Come again, Jesus? You’re pushing swag? To influence people? A bit unseemly, wouldn’t you say?”
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9, NIV)
Who doesn’t like a little swag? “Ooh, a foam can cooler,” you squeal — except you don’t actually use them.
We call giving “a privilege” or “a responsibility” or “an aspiration.”
But the not-so-subtle message we send to our members says it’s a duty. That’s right, the same rationale we use for getting a root canal gets applied to giving.
What if we could change the narrative from “gotta” to “get to” give?
I never wanted to know how much church members were giving. I didn’t think it was any of my business.
That was a mistake.
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said.” (Mark 10:21, NIV)
Jesus loved the rich young ruler. This man was literally so close to the Kingdom of God. He chased it down. Finding Jesus and falling to his knees, he begged Him to share the secret of the Kingdom.
I’ve been binging on budget apps lately. In my nerdy opinion, they’re cool and help me feel in control of my money. What’s not to like?
But my wife’s reaction was less than enthusiastic.
On Ash Wednesday, I decided to give up my afternoon cup of coffee. There began the longest Lenten season of my life.
It may already be too late. This creep is sneaky. Everyone is vulnerable, regardless of age, class, gender or race. But you don’t have to let this creep near you. Let me tell you how!
No, my actual thoughts aren’t on fire. And yes, right now in one corner of my brain, Alicia Keys is belting out her hit single, “Girl on Fire.”
But my actual thoughts are on the acronym FIRE which stands for “Financial Independence Retiring Early.” Have you heard of it? It’s a movement that’s picking up steam and even headlines.