Our money follows our passion. It’s a simple, but profound, fact of life. And, sometimes, if we really think about it, this truth can be a little scary.
For instance, I would hate to calculate what my family spends during a weekend at a Tennessee football game. We don’t indulge in extravagance, but there’re game tickets, parking, concessions, a trip to the bookstore, other meals, travel expenses and incidentals, etc. It’s an expensive weekend to enjoy cheering on our alma mater. And imagine our heightened exuberance if we actually had a winning program right now!
My brothers have similar indulgences in their weekend hunting expeditions to Georgia and South Carolina. For others, it’s their boat…or their beach place…or weekends away with a child’s travel team. And, of course, there are kitchen and bathroom renovations, automobile expenses, premium cable TV packages, (unused) gym memberships, expedited shipping charges (because we can’t wait an extra two days for anything), and the daily trip to our favorite coffee shop. And the list of our passions goes on and on and on…
What Captures Our Affections?
Please hear me – none of these are evil endeavors. This very small listing is meant to stimulate our thinking about our priorities in life. For me, it’s my wife, children, and grandchildren. For avocations, there are spectator sports, our Tennessee mountain home, my yard in Lakeland, golf, photography and movies. Sprinkled all in between are the many ministries we love.
Go ahead…take a moment right now to reflect on your own listing. What tends to captivate your affections? To gain some insight, take a look at your calendar and your online listing of bank account activity. Or, what you post about on Facebook.
What are your priorities, as reflected in how you invest your valuable resources of time, money, energy and talents? As Matthew 6:21 testifies, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Indeed, what we tend to value the most in life will receive our thought, energy, time, and, of course, our money.
Now consider basic stewardship premise #1 – God owns it all and calls us to be wise stewards of that which He entrusts to us. I, for one, will assume this statement is true. If you disagree, it’s best that you take that up with God, for He makes this claim (He owns it all) and this admonition (be a faithful steward) throughout the Holy Scriptures. The Biblical repetition of these facts is hard to miss.
So, what happens when you overlay the truth of Matthew 6:21 with the principle of “basic stewardship premise #1? For me – much provocation of thought (translation: conviction!)
And, what about you? Surely I don’t stand alone in sensing there is room for growth in my quest to be a faithful steward. Or, is the fact that we are called to be found faithful in administering God’s resources even on your radar?
If not, there’s no better time to start than now. I trust you will accurately understand what I’m suggesting in today’s post. If you feel I’m recommending you sell your vacation properties, your boats, and your hunting gear…never go out to eat…and disconnect your cable TV service – you’ve missed the point.
Whereas some folks must, indeed, take these drastic measures, that’s not exactly what I propose. For starters, I’m asking each of us to evaluate our priorities and passions, as evidenced by the investment of our most tangible resource – our money.
My bet would be that each of us could stand some movement in the direction of being a better steward of what God owns in the first place. In other words, how are we doing in our support of Kingdom ministry – in giving to people and organizations whose life work is to further the cause of Christ? Does this critical work have priority in our heart of hearts?
Whose Kingdom Is It, Anyway!?!
As you reflect, consider your family’s own financial philosophy. Is your goal to increase your own kingdom…or to prosper THE Kingdom?
Again, I’m not suggesting a wholesale “selling of all your possessions.” But we have to start somewhere. So why not with our churches? Could you imagine the needs that could be met, the ministry that could be done, if everyone tithed? Mind-boggling!
And, what if instead of only giving to ministries (like your nearby Christian school!) out of our abundant overflow, we gave sacrificially – giving a portion of what we have today, instead of waiting for us to accumulate a “sufficient” amount tomorrow? Imagine the Kingdom work that could be accomplished!
Feeling guilty? Again, not my point.
Feeling inspired to re-evaluate this whole concept of stewardship and then begin to see how you can move toward being found more faithful in this spiritual discipline? Bingo!
Above all, please don’t chalk this up as just another “sermon” on giving, presented by someone whose primary responsibility is to raise money for Christian ministry. Rather, please consider this as someone who often fails in his stewardship priorities, sharing his heart with friends, in the hope that we will all be more obedient in a matter of great significance in our spiritual journey on this earth.
Mr. Steve Wilson is the Director of Advancement at Lakeland Christian School. To reach Steve, you may email him at Swilson@lcsonline.org.