Lately, I have had a lot of conversations about money. I am willing to bet you have had many of the same conversations. Some of my conversations have centered around bills. In fact, my wife was going through our personal records and found the bill from our son’s medical flight from a few years ago…it was over $30,000! (we had good insurance at the time and it paid a major portion and we negotiated down the balance or else we would still be paying). Money is one of the things that dominates many of our conversations.
Money drives conversations in lots of ways, “Can we afford it?” “I don’t have enough money.” “We can’t afford both, pick one.” “I wish we had the kind of money they have.” “Maybe, I will win the lottery.” “You can’t have that toy if you want the lights on at home.” “I know I should save more money, but I have to have ____ .” “Am I saving enough for retirement?” “Will I be able to retire?” I could go on and on and on with the ways that money drives conversation.
I have never had to say, “Man, I have too much money!” If that is your problem you can make checks to “Aaron Gregory” or if you want the tax deduction you can make them to “The Lakes Community Church.” Most of the time we think “I wish I had a little more money.” We think, “there just isn’t enough money to go around.”
I love what Andy Stanley talks about in his book, “Be Rich.” (It is a great read for all). In the book he talks about how most of us think of the other guy as rich, when in reality compared to the rest of the world we are rich! He quotes a study that shows when you take people who make $30,000 they see people as rich who make $60,000 and the people who make $60,000 see the people who make $100,000 as rich. You get the point.
The reality is that most of us earn differing dollar amounts, but there are some questions we all must ask. “Where am I investing my money?” If we were to open our check books, or show others our online bank statements, where would our money have been spent? Would people see that we lived within our margins, or would they see we lived beyond our means? Would people see generosity to others or money spent only on ourselves? Would people see faithful giving to Christ and His Church or would our wallets show lip service to our faith?
Our church board wrestles with how to invest money at times. One board member pointed out to me the other day that we do not hesitate to update an area of the church, but we struggle to spend money on actual ministry items. I have been wrestling with that!
There are moments when it is obvious where we need to spend our money, and other times it is not so clear. The Bible talks about money in several places and it asks the same question in many different ways, “does your money own you?” I am reminded over and over again that we are called to invest our money wisely. 1 Timothy 6:17-18: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.”
The call for you and I, is to be rich, the way Paul writes of here (hint: it doesn’t matter how much money you have). We are called to be generous in all things. The question that I think is good for you and I is this, “What am I investing in?”