Sunday, September 27, 2009
Talk with Young Adults on Money Matters...
On Friday, September 18th, I was asked to speak with a group of young adults on money matters at Christian Life Assembly. This group is called "Sparks" and the program was called the "Spark Talk." Approximately 50 young adults attended.
We talked about the ownership of money, dangers related to money, giving, saving, spending, debt management and how to resist the worldly temptation.
As some of you know, I was leading workshops and seminars on "Good Steward's Financial Management" back in the states. The topic is dear to my heart and it was a blessing to be able to speak on this topic to young adults who are exposed to the world temptations and misconcepts on money matters in many aspects.
According to Luke 12:15, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abudance of his possessions." Yet, we put too much value on the quantity of money we make and we have.
1 Timothy 6:9,10 says, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Yet, we see so many people around us who ignore this warning.
Hebrews 13:5 is a little more direct saying, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Yet, we find it so difficult to live with contentment.
Money is a necessity for buying goods and services, and for storing some to prepare for contingencies, including unproductive olden days. But, its importance has been so elevated that it seems to have become the purpose of the lives of so many people. It is a disease: I call it "Affluenza." This disease is contagious and drives people to seek money or affluence with all their minds, all their hearts and all their strengths. They often compromise the value and ethics to achieve the goal. They are willing to use people to obtain the money. Sadly, even the Jesus followers frequently fall into this trap.
There is a cure for it. It is the stewardship. Once you acknowledge that the creator God and the redeemer Christ owns the heaven and earth and everything in between, you know that you no longer own anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. He owns everything and we are only His stewards or managers.
But not all stewards are good stewards because there have been many bad stewards as shown in the bible. Good stewards not only know who the owner is but also use the money entrusted with them according to the owner's will. To illustrate this, there will be three types of questions people will ask as far as spending money is concerned:
First, "What do I want to do with my money?" --- This question is for those who think they own the money. The world is full of these people.
Second, "What do I want to do with God's money?" --- This question belongs to those who at least acknowledge who the owner is, but still desire to follow their own judgment and will when it comes to spending.
Third, "What does God want me to do with His money?" --- This question belongs to those who not only understand who the owner is but also try to discern the owner's will in deploying the resources entrusted with them.
I have seen so many people who are good stewards. They find joy and satisfaction from giving away the money for God's purposes. They are content with what they have been provided. They do not love the money. Instead they love to give away the money.
It is my desire to see more and more good stewards who are managing God-entrusted resources for His will and His Kingdom.
Habakkuk said, "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (H. 3:17,18)
May this confession be ours as well! - Jeffrey