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Resolutions in Regard to Money


Money—who doesn’t want it? Both the good and the bad want it—the former out of need and the latter out of greed.

As needful and useful money is, I have learned, it is also a dangerous asset. Many Christian leaders have wrecked their reputation and ministry because of money. Thus, if there is any area wherein we have to build some strong principles, I suppose, it should be in the area of money.

I have been in Christian ministry for twelve years. I have committed so many blunders and learned so many lessons that eventually led me to make some wise resolutions in the Lord, particularly pertaining to finance.

There is a reason why I want to share these resolutions—it may encourage others to be careful in the area of money matters, bringing glory to God. Also, sharing this puts me in accountability to all the readers regarding my commitment [if I go astray in my resolutions, please feel free to correct me]. Anything beyond this, may the Lord give me the grace to overcome all the temptations of the evil one!

Before I share these, I want to mention few points:

i. I didn’t make these resolutions on New Years. I believe, true change does not wait for a specific date or a moment. You change right at the moment when you get a personal conviction. Also, I didn’t make all these resolutions at once; these were made as I keep growing in the Lord.

ii. Just because I am strong in one area does not mean that I am strong in all the areas of life. There are worse things that I struggle with in my life and by God’s grace I have to change more and become a better person.

iii. All the good resolutions and change that happens in my life is solely due to God’s gracious work within me. There is nothing great about me. Left to myself, I am a worst beast. Glory be to God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose. (Phi. 2:13)

Here are my three resolutions in regard to money which I strive by God’s grace to live accordingly:

Resolution 1
As I am involved in Christian ministry, one major resolution I have made in my life is this—I should not make my personal or family needs known to any, not even indirectly through prayer requests. I resolved not to ask anyone but to pray and seek the Lord to meet my needs. And I testify that my Father in heaven has been faithful to meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

As God meets my needs, I have learned to seek His face to give me the grace to use money wisely and seek to live a simple lifestyle.

Now this doesn’t mean I live by faith. I don’t think my faith is so great. But I can say boldly that I live only by the grace of God. It is one thing not to ask anyone and another thing not to expect anything from any. May the Lord enable me to completely conquer the latter temptation too!

Further, I resolved that if there is no providence for a prolonged time, I would rather take up a job and work to earn to support my family than ask others for money. I will assume this is how the Lord wants me to serve Him, working in the marketplace and earning my living. But so far the Lord has given me the grace to be active in extensive [full-time] ministry and may He continue to guide me to finish the task He has for me.

Yet when it comes to meet the dire needs of other people, I don’t hesitate to ask those who trust me to help others.

Resolution 2
Coming to ministry needs, I have resolved not to publicize them. Although the ministry that I do is good and the needs may be reasonable, I have found that it is an unhealthy habit to make public appeals for money. Because of this unhealthy practice, there is more disgrace coming to God’s name and ministry than glory.

However, if anyone has given the freedom to share the ministry needs with them or personally interested to know the specific needs of ministry in order to make a contribution, I think it is fine to share with them.

Moreover, I have resolved to do only that which the Lord gives me the grace to do and not take up too many things, thereby coming under financial pressure and helplessly beg others to support the ministerial activities. By God’s grace, let us do God’s work in God’s way because that alone brings glory to God.

Resolution 3
The Holy Bible warns, “The love of money [not money itself] is a root of all kinds of evil” (1Tim. 6:10). I have learned that one way to overcome this love for money is to give away money. The antidote for greed is generosity.

Richard J. Foster suggests, “If money has a grip on your heart, give some away and feel the inner release.” The English writer, Thomas Browne (1605-1682), exhorted, “Be charitable before wealth makes you covetous.” John Wesley (1703-1791) said, “Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart.”

Therefore, from the providence of God to me, by God’s grace, I have resolved to give away more than twenty percent of the money every month. I don’t do this because I have plenty. To be frank, generally every month begins with zero balance in my account. Despite all the challenges, God is faithful to provide me my daily bread and it is a delight to share it with others too.

I don’t believe the New Testament teaches the Old Testament tithing system. In fact, it teaches—generous giving (2Cor. 9:6). And I don’t think that giving away more than twenty percent is generous giving. As God gives me grace, I would love to give away not less than forty or fifty percent for His glory and I think that is generous giving.

It is amazing how God transforms people. Before Christ, I was robbing money from people and now He is changing me to give away money to people. He is able to transform a thief into a philanthropist:-) And I have learned to give not with an intention to receive more [sowing and reaping business] but with an attitude of gratitude to God’s faithfulness in my life.

Soli Deo Gloria!
_______________________________

ENQUIRIES:

Feel free to write your comments below (or) write to

 
cstephendavid@gmail.com (or) stephen@tents-india.org

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It would be a great blessing to practice these principles everyday.

    1.Trusting God solely for providence
    2.Not to publicize needs
    3.Giving generously

    ReplyDelete

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