True giving means giving to God with no expectation of return. It’s a mark of real faith, because though we are giving to a visible person or organization, we are doing it in a way that signals our mind and heart is surrendered to an invisible God.
There’s an old Japanese proverb that says, “Getting money is like digging with a needle; spending it is like water soaking into sand.” We all nod in agreement. Who hasn’t known the struggle of financial frustrations? And even those who have plenty become disillusioned because money does not satisfy. As Seneca the Roman once stated, “Money has never yet made anyone rich.” But on we go, pushing and striving, planning and struggling to earn more so we can have more, then invest more and enjoy more. Fat chance! The more time we spend earning more money to buy more stuff, the less time we have to enjoy our stuff.
Sometimes it's easy for Christians to feel a little smug—to look down our pious noses and sigh in pharisaical tones, "I'm a Christian. I would never do that." Not so fast, my friend. You don't want to hear this, but there's not all that much difference between "us" and "them."
“Thoughts disentangle themselves...over the lips and through the fingertips.” I learned that saying over 30 years ago, and just about every time I put it to the test, it works!
James’ advice isn’t just for people who possess great riches; it’s just as applicable to the pauper in Christ as to the prince.
Our hearts need to line up on this: everything, including all we are and have, is God’s. The question we ask is not, “How much of my money should I give?” but, “How much of God’s money should I keep?”
I’m not going to talk about what you should do when the plate is passed. Rather, I want to talk about what you might do before and after that time.
Procrastination, to paraphrase the dictionary, is a wilful delay of doing something that should be done. If I’m wilfully delaying paying my bills, then it’s as if I’m also doing this unto the Lord. So it’s wrong.
Contentment comes through choices we make. The Apostle Paul said he had learned how to be content (Philippians 4:11–13). Following Paul’s teaching and example can help us learn how to be content.
Living in a material world, and especially in capitalistic North America, the pressure to be caught up in materialism is enormous.