Today we’re zooming in on part two of a two part series about money… so you might want to read part one.
[visual: me leaning on one foot, and then the other, waiting for your return]
…Okay, we’re back. So you already know that this is by David P. Kreklau who combines something that sounds really exciting with something that sounds rather boring — he’s a CPA with the US Air Force. Part two (click the title to link direct) is:
Have you ever been in that awkward situation where somebody wants to give you money but you are embarrassed to receive it… or maybe you want to give money to someone but they are too embarrassed to take it? As my daughter would say, it feels “awkward…!”
In my last blog I talked about how we take pride in our money and we allow it to bleed into our identity… making us feel like we have all the control over our money, which can create these awkward situations where we convey feelings of pride either in giving or receiving.
But the point I made was that God is sovereign over all things, including whatever it was that helped you obtain your wealth… whether your choices or upbringing, etc. And therefore, whatever amount of money you have, that is what God has chosen to distribute to you. Thus, you need not tie your identity to your wealth.
The Impact of Sovereignty
Here are some practical ways that this understanding should affect our money.
1) Humility. Knowing that it is God who distributes to whom He wills should disarm our pride over our wealth and lend us to feel humble in knowing that what we have is only of grace… not ourselves. And let’s face it, we could all use more humility.
2) Gratitude. This humility should naturally flow into gratitude, recognizing that this grace is not deserved and that we actually deserve nothing. Yet, God gives to us lavishly.
3) Giving. Just as we model everything we do after the Gospel of Jesus Christ – how He gave Himself for us when we deserved nothing good – we ought to give graciously to those in need, despite what they “deserve.”
4) Stewardship/Redistribution. Remember that since God decides in His sovereignty who gets what, then those who have been given much must remember that they have been given much for a reason. You have been made a steward by God, and it is up to you to redistribute to those in need. This is easier to do when you remember that it is not your money. It is God’s… given to you to use for the kingdom in bringing about His good purposes. This knowledge should also directly impact how you spend your money.
5) Receiving. We need not feel embarrassed when receiving charity, as this is what God has appointed. His way of you obtaining that money in this instance just happens to be a gift of love from someone as opposed to a wage. Is there a better way of feeling the Gospel than receiving a gift instead of earning it yourself?
As you can see, this understanding of our wealth brings profound consequences to how we view money. You can stop looking inward in terms of valuing yourself by your wealth and start looking outward by trying to breathe value into others.
If God gives abundantly to you, use that money to glorify Him. If He gives you a nice home, use it to entertain in a Christ-exalting way. If you are short of cash and someone helps you out, use that money to His glory and see the Christ-like quality of giving in that moment and worship Him.
If the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10)… then the love of each other will disarm that evil.