Proof of our love...
Paul spoke in II Corinthians about him sending a helper to collect gifts for the other churches and asked them to offer “proof of their love”. Money, it’s not the root of all evil, pride is. But the love of money is a major hindrance to living for Jesus Christ.
Nothing reveals the real man or woman more than the matter of money. The sweetest people can turn right nasty when it comes to his/her money. Money is often the secret idol that is worshipped by the most outwardly devout man or woman.
What do you dream about? Where is my mind most of the time? What do I think the most about? That’s my true altar or worship—no matter how strange, ignoble or noble the idea is. If our minds are “set upon Him”, there’s scant room for much else!
But how do I feel when others ask me for financial help? I am thinking of excuses as to why I can’t pay, or how right now is a bad time, or do I try to justify by stinginess by arguing that I can best help them by withholding help.
And how generous are we when the offering plate is passed around in church or at a fund raiser? Do we empty our pockets or provide a mere token—or nothing at all? I am not saying that money does not make you “happy”, because as a matter of fact, it does! (If you don’t believe me, give a $100 to one of your children or a friend and just see how happy they are!). But the love of money, the worry of wanting more money, the dependence upon money for a person’s self-esteem is the reason for most of our social problems today. Those that have it don’t always share it or give it away very well, and those that don’t have it are often unwilling to do what’s required to have it!
To Saint Francis, money = human dung. He hated it because of what it could do to a man’s soul. But the truth is, of course, that there is nothing wrong with money, only with a fixation upon it and worry about having enough of it. Do you have money and is it “yours”? Then you can give it away and let go of it. If you can’t, it owns you.
Did you know that the average giving per adult American is only about 2%. Giving 10 percent of one's income is a good marker associated with enjoying better health, happiness, and purpose in life. Viewed this way, the vast majority of Americans (97 percent) are forfeiting the chance to enhance their well-being by practicing real generosity with their money.
10% of our income is God’s (actually, it's ALL God's, everything that anyone has is God's)—-we’re supposed to give back 10% as a base——the beginning. The joy and blessing of giving more follows. Do you trust God to bless your 90% if you give at least 10%? Let go —— give God’s work the 10%—-not because He needs it, but because you need to own your finances, not the other way around.