Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Economic Stimulus Check

Did you get your economic stimulus check yet? We haven’t. But Shannon and I are dreaming about the ways we could spend it.

Just a few years ago, our conversations about using this money would have been turned toward vacations or for a home improvement project. We’ve never been car, TV or stereo people. We don’t need gadgets (I still don’t understand how iPhones or Blackberry’s work!) or the newest fashionable clothes. Fortunately, we don’t really have any great debts to pay down either. We are blessed.
Yes, we are so incredibly blessed. We have material comforts that the vast majority of the world only dream about. We keep a picture book called, “Material World: A Global Family Portrait” on our coffee table and it reminds us just how much we have compared to the rest of the world. Trust me…I’m blessed, and so are you! If you don’t believe me, I’ll loan you the book.

Did you know that no other topic, besides the kingdom of God reappears more frequently in the Gospels than the warnings about wealth? If you set out to find out what God thinks about wealthy people (you and me) who hoard their stuff instead of engaging in radical generosity, you’re in for a shock. When Jesus calls for followers, He expects them to lay every financial decision at His feet. Your money is not your money. It belongs to God. The decisions we make about the money God entrusts to our care should be made always with others in mind. A good question to ask is, “How do I love my neighbor as myself with this money?”

I guess that’s really the point of this post: to challenge you to think about how you are spending the money that God trusts you to steward. Yes, it’s given to you to provide the essentials for your family, but God never intended for 50% of His children to starve while 10% of us live in luxury. Just remember, it’s not your money…at least it’s not if you call yourself a Christ follower. And you and I will have to answer to God someday for the way we managed it. Did we spend it on ourselves, or did we bless others with it? Where is that economic stimulus check better spent: Myanmar or a flat screen? China or a new wardrobe? Treasure in heaven or treasure on earth? God, give us courage to do the right thing.


The Liller Family said...

Gotta agree with you Ryan. In most ways I gave up on my "wants of the material world", but I know I'm still no where near where God wants me to be. I think I gave it up out of necessity rather than of my own free will (to get our bills paid, etc...). I realize more by your post that we should give up wanting more so that we can "give more" to those less fortunate. The majority of the world is suffering and they definitely need our help - financially, but also by our deeds. We are sooooo incredibly blessed by what we have that sometimes we take it for granted. I hope to be more consciously aware of that. Thanks for the reminder!

Haffner Home said...

Great...there goes my dream of using Bush's stimulus package for an inflatable love seat, two yard gnomes (his & hers), a 5 gallon bucket of Jujubees and a life-sized stuffed Caribou for our living room! -- Legitimately, though...for more on this topic, check out Poe's teachings on Kingdom Economics at drawfromthewell.com. God has used them to challenge how The Haffner Home spend the money they have been called to steward. $$$ [Ah]