17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)
There were so many powerful thoughts and examples yesterday from those who commented. Some provided great examples of how we can use our material possessions (or as many of you said, really God’s resources) to demonstrate God’s love to others in need. As we conclude our consideration of the Discipline of Stewardship today, I want to highlight a challenge that we sometimes face when we think about financial stewardship.
In the world’s view, a good steward typically engages in growing and retaining economic resources. While there is nothing wrong with these activities in many instances, it is quite interesting though, that in God’s economy a good steward is often engaged in giving away resources to a world in need. Trying to decide how much we should keep/save versus how much we should give away is often very difficult.
Please prayerfully read the passage above and consider the question below.
What does our inclination to share our resources with people in need say about where our trust resides?
March 27, 2020 at 1:47 pm
For as long as I can remember, I have always considered a tithe and offering the first amount of money that should be set aside from any income I have earned. I’ve also been in a situation where I didn’t seem to have enough money to pay my bills after doing so, so I have actually struggled with, “Do I continue giving from my gross pay, or do I give from my net pay?”
I sought advice from a Man of God whom I totally trust would give me advice based on biblical, as well as financially responsible advice. He gave me great advice, but left it up to me to make the final decision on gross or net. I really hoped he’d pick one for me. 🙂
I did make a decision. I made the decision by putting my total trust in God that if I did what He was leading me to do, I could depend on Him to provide for me 100%.
All this to say my inclination to share my resources in need comes naturally. I really think it’s because I have a total trust in God to supply my needs, and to occasionally supply me with a little bit extra that I can share/give/bless others in need with. (Keep in mind, the resources that we can share/give/bless others with does not have to always be money.)
God continues to provide. Here’s an example: I use the envelope method of setting aside a certain amount of cash each month for certain purchases (groceries, miscellaneous items, gas, etc.). The concept is to use the money carefully and not run out before the end of the month. Due to the corona virus, my typical bulk, but reasonably priced meats and eggs from Costco were no longer available. At other stores, they were a whole lot more. Yesterday morning I told my husband that we had no more grocery money left. Hours later, we received a phone call from a couple at our church who said they wanted to stop by. They wanted to bless us because they had been blessed. This has never happened to us. They handed us an envelope. It contained 2 – $50 bills. That was definitely God looking out for our family. The money is in the “Grocery” envelope, and we’ll end up in the positive by a few dollars by the end of the month.
My trust resides 100% in God.
March 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm
I use to just give what I thought I could afford but now I give 10 percent of my social as I am retired.
I work part time sometimes.
But I am sometimes very nervous as I know there is no human being to pay my bills.
But because I am gaining my confidence in Trusting that God will provide I am just doing my part.
And by the way I get a priceless feeling when I give that no money can replace.
Like giving my neighbour some coffee as she had none thus morning.
I see the joy of seeing someone who was so aloof to me smile.
When I gave too much I just ask if my other neighbor wants and I just feel good.
Not that I am looking for thank you or recognition but seeing if the world would realize there is enough to share, not hoard.
March 27, 2020 at 9:04 pm
. I was once a salaried person, later self employed. The advice I was given as I give my children today, when studying away from home was not to live above ones means. I began dividing my allowance, my weekend income then my Big salary. Live on one third. Save one third etc. Out of that I have never been in debt, helped charities, been rewarded. When I joined a church much later on, the thythe was explained. The advice given to me by a family member years before,had helped explain this to me. We were never money wealthy, never needy, never worried, abundantly provided with all our needs. So we guess one can say RICH. in so many ways that God has provided for us. It is sometimes a question that in between churches which one gets the larger part of my giving as there is only 3 thirds in a whole to give.
March 28, 2020 at 12:26 am
This lesson brings Matthew 6:19-21 to mind. It says where your treasure lies, there lies your heart also. So those of us who are rich towards God will make good use of money and give it away, even self sacrificially, which as Pastor Oliver richly said yesterday is counter culture and against everything we’ve been taught about managing finances!!
Therefore this is something I struggle with and get confused about especially when it does not seem to be enough leftover after deducting the 10% tithe. But what I’ve learned, even as I struggle in giving “the appropriate amount” God blesses me with a bigger pay check. It might not be the same for everyone. But one thing I know, God provides.