My job as a server at a restaurant has its benefits but it also has its challenges. One of the bigger challenges is that money concerns are very in your face. One of the ways this is manifested is in tipping out the people I work with that support the job I do: the bussers, the expo, the hosts, and the bartender. I have total control over how much I want to give these people at the end of the day. Thus, the decision to be generous or stingy is one I have to make on a daily basis.
Though it’s manifested in different ways for each of us, we all need to deal with frequent decisions over giving. The man begging on the street corner, the missionary who sent you a letter requesting support, an elder at your church presenting its financial needs, and in more subtle ways such as that friend you know who is struggling financially. So how will we respond? Lets look at a few things the Bible says about money and giving:
1 Timothy 6:17-19
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life”
A Colloquial Commentary
Paul: “Money does not provide happiness, stupid”
Us: “Yes, we know, we’ve heard it before, blah blah blah”
God: “Hey, ummm, so why do you keep acting like it does? You hoard it so you can have nice clothes, a nice car and 10,000 songs on your iPod. Meanwhile there’s not just starving children of mine overseas but right down the street!”
Us: “Oh yeah… whoops”
Paul: “Dude, told you so. So, like I was saying, happiness comes from God and not money, so be generous and hook a brotha up”
If you are reading this right now, YOU ARE RICH. That means that you have a computer or at least have access to one, or maybe a smart phone, in which case you’re even richer. So take a good hard look at how you spend your money. How much do you give away? When you buy something, ask yourself “do I really need this” and consider how better you could spend that money. Think of someone or something that needs it whom you could give it to instead.
“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
You won’t be needing the “moneybags” of this earth when you depart to be with Jesus for eternity and reign with Him on the New Earth. The material things we spend our money on are all going to BURN when Jesus wraps things up on this Earth. Take a minute right now to picture your most coveted possession and then imagine it erupting in flames and burning to ashes. Maybe that mental picture is a healthy one we should carry around in our heads to keep our possessions in perspective (unless it’s your car and you’re driving it, in which case could lead to paranoia). Now picture being with Christ and the people in this life you’ve impacted by your joyful sacrifice on the New Earth. That other junk pales in comparison right? Now go live the vision.