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Giving as a Defense Against Idolatry
I felt a bit like Art Linkletter having those kids up there with me today. (If you don’t know who Art Linkletter is he did an old tv show called “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”.) I can’t wait to see how those kids spend their $5.00. I was origionally going to give each one 3 one-dollar bills but thought that would be too easy. Five dollars doesn’t divide by 3 easily so it should make it more of a challenge. The real question, however, is how are we as a church going to respond with the money God has blessed us with?
Knowing how to use a tool ensures that we will get maximum benefit from it’s use. The same is true for money. If one can learn how to use money to 1) Buy, 2) Save, and 3) Give they will be well on their way to using money appropirately. Unfortunately many of us never learned how to use money properly and have been hurt as a result. Bad credit, crippling debt, or simply using every penny we bring home just to get by, are all symptoms. Of course I understand there are emergency situations that may made it difficult to get by financially; but I am talking about how one uses money as a lifestyle.
For those who have had trouble managing money I would suggest that you simplify your lifestyle. We just don’t need all the things the world tells us we need. When you must cut corners to make ends meet don’t forget about the small things that really add up. Cable T.V., internet access, excessive eating out, are a few ways one can trim their spending to save money. FPU has a very workable plan to get out of debt and teaches one the tools necessary to use money properly. I just finished reading Dave Ramsey’s, Total Money Makeover and recommend it for anyone who wants to gain better control of their money.
Jesus said, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11). Money is not True Riches! But we must prove that we can handle money well so that God will give us the riches that are really valuable. What are those riches? I don’t know the full extent of what God has in mind, but I do that a proper use of money brings peace, contentment, and joy. How rich is the person who has those things in their life!