There is a significant misunderstanding about Scripture and money. In short, when it comes to money, common perception is that Scripture only teaches us to give it away. This perception is a misperception for multiple reasons. For starters, Scripture addresses money holistically. There is instruction on making money, saving money, spending money, and yes, giving money. A careful reading of Scripture, though, shows that there is not only misperception about Scriptures’ holistic teaching on money, but also about Scriptures’ teaching on giving. Consider carefully Jesus’ words: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20). This teaching on giving, when read carefully, is not a teaching on giving in the sense that we give it away and it’s lost. It’s actually a teaching on investing. Jesus does not want us to waste our money. We waste our money when we invest it in things that will only whither away. Scripture teaches there are investments we can make with our money that will reap weighty and lasting dividends. When we generously resource the body of Christ, we are resourcing a movement whose impact is eternal. For this reason, when writing to the church in Corinth, Paul reminded them that “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6). He follows this with an exhortation toward cheerful giving: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Cheerful giving is not possible if we are wasting our money by giving it away. Such cheerfulness would be a denial of reality. A person is cheerful in their giving, though, because they recognize they are making a wise investment. Their generous “sowing” will result in a generous “reaping.” This is an especially cheerful reality when we compare this use of our money to the the many necessary things we must do with our money to make it through this life. We use our money to eat, to clothe ourselves, to provide shelter, and enjoyment. These are all good and healthy ways to spend money. But they come and go. When we come to understand Scriptures’ teaching, that available to us is a use of our money that is not here today and gone tomorrow, we are inspired to sow generously toward the greatest of goods.
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Signs You're Living It Out
Wise stewardship of one’s resources, living within one’s means
Simplicity in one’s purchases; enjoyment of material things without materialism
Commitment to invest at least 10% of one’s income in the body of Christ through their local church
The presence of joy and cheerfulness in one’s giving rather than duty and obligation
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When we start talking about money, especially as a church, it is easy to start putting up barriers. We hide our check book and put away our wallets. Cynicism shoots through our bodies. What's up with that? Rick Shurtz gets to the heart of it in this short video.