My dad shared this article with us…in a few short paragraphs, the author addresses so well THE question about money that can plague so many of us! Part of the article is below:
Several recent conversations with members of (my church) lead me to write about money…all center on the same question: How do I know if I am spending too much on myself or my family?
First let me say how much I appreciate the question. Only a heart transformed by the power of Christ could free a person enough to ask such a dangerous thing. When asked with a real sense of submission to Christ, queries like these put dreams, livelihoods, and plans before Him to do with as He deems. In a day when Christians confuse fear with prudence and mistake hoarding with stewardship, I am thankful for such a question. Honest questions like these will not only change the asker, they can change the world…
We often attempt to view money (or sex, or any other ethical dilemma) from the vantage of law before we look to see it from the vantage of grace. My college question (how far is too far?) revealed that my heart was more about managing my life up to a legal standard than one emblazoned for Christ and his Kingdom. We are to spend our money, not in light of the law, but in light of the glorious benevolence that the Father has shown us in Christ. The apostolic church was not marked by temperate, prudent, giving plans, or self-protecting talk of accumulating wealth; they were marked by extravagant abandon to the grace and mission of God.
Submission to grace allowed the widow to give away “all she had to live on.” Recognition of Christ’s mercy compelled Zacchaeus to reimburse four times what he defrauded. Appreciation of the cross directed the early church “to have no needy Christians among them.” Passion for the mission of God compelled the early Jerusalem church to sell all their possessions and give it to the apostles. We are to love the law, but the law does not make us do strange things like these.
Only grace can do that. Grace can change us from thieves to philanthropists, from shoppers to sellers, and from savers to extravagant givers. Grace can transform our moth-like hearts so that they love money not for what it can do for us, but what it can do for Him and His Kingdom. Grace can revolutionize our questions from how much can we spend on ourselves without being guilty of greed, to how can we best use His money to demonstrate the incredible generosity of our God.
By Giorgio Hiatt (M.Div) This article originally appeared in Covenant magazine, the quarterly magazine of Covenant Theological Seminary. For the full 1.5 page article, click here.