As some of you may know, I'm currently reading Weird by Craig Groeschel, which talks about living a Christ-following life every day. The first section discussed Time, and the second session discussed money.
Here are the three main take-away points:
1. The definition of rich is relative. I know that many times, when someone told me I was rich growing up, I said "No I'm not!" because I knew someone with more money than my family. Groeschel says, "Since normal people don't believe they're rich, they generally skim through or skip past anything the Bible says to wealthy people. In fact, if you earn more than $37.000 per year, you are in the top 4 percent of wage earners. My first thought when reading this was, "WOW, an amount like that is barely considered out of poverty in America". According to Groeschel, here is the issue with wealth: "The more a person is able to control life through the power of money, wealth, and status, the more inclined he is to rely on his money's ability to make things happen, instead of relying on God." True story.
2."Better to have fewer houses, cars, appliances, clothes, toys, and bills than to have the whole world and lose your soul." Groeschel discussed two families he knows, one he compared to the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. They had lots of money, and they kept buying more and more and more but were never satisfied. Then, he talked about another family who had plenty of money, but didn't buy the newest gadget and nicest house every time one was available. They were much, much happier than the family who constantly spent their money. It reminds me of the Toby Mac song "Lose My Soul," which quotes Matthew 16:26: "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" I'd rather have a life that is warm and fulfilling in love rather than full of stuff.
3. There are 3 levels of generosity. There is spontaneous giving--seeing a need and meeting it (which isn't a deliberate lifestyle choice). The second level is strategic givers--those that plan ahead so that they can be generous. The third level is sacrificial givers--those that "see what we have as tools that advance God's kingdom" and are constantly using money and possessions to help others. The main thing I took from this chapter is that giving of our money shouldn't be a matter of "What do I have left over that I can give this month?" Giving of our money should come first, not last.
Great perspective on money and using it in a Godly way. Reading this chapter came at a great time, after finding out that my previous experience/degree level wouldn't change my annual salary in my new county. It really put money into perspective for me, and that I really do need to be relying on God rather than the amount of money I'm making. He has provided me with a job and a salary in general, so why would he not provide for the rest of the future.
Long review for one section of the book, but I wanted to share all of the interesting points I gather from this book! The next section is on Relationships. When I finish that, I will be sure to share!
Side Note: The website where I got the money image from actually links to an article entitled "Can Money Buy Happines?" SO CRAZY how God works sometimes! Check out that article, it really ties in to point #2!