Tuesday, April 29, 2008

FPU Session 14: The Great Misunderstanding

This was the last session. I posted a picture of our completion certificate here.

Right down to the last minute of the last class Ramsey sticks true to his style. Straight talk about the basics fueled by intense motivational language that calls for action.
"The Great Misunderstanding, the paradox, is that we believe that the way to have more is to hold on to what we have more tightly."
Ramsey drives home the biblical stewardship principle in this lesson - that we are merely managers of the money God allows us to work with, in order to show and test our faithfulness. He discussed giving in general but he does not get into theological hair splitting on what Tithing really means.

It's funny how so many church goers like to argue (or, rationalize) about the tithe with studies have shown for decades that the typical evangelical church member family gives less than 3% of it's income. Tithe means 10%. When you are tithing, you are giving 10% off the top of your overall household income. Perhaps I'll post on this sometime in the future but I am persuaded that I should be giving away as much of my income as possible - as much as possible, much more than 10%. I would love to do this but I must also take care of my family first (or I am worse than and unbeliever, Timothy 5:8). Tithing is not a rule but a guideline, or rather a place to start, something to shoot for. Amazingly, its a guideline that currently no one is meeting! There should be no arguing over what Tithing really means, no one is doing it by definition anyways!! Eventually, but sooner than later, I want my family's giving to far exceed 10% of gross income. If we work hard to get out of debt in the next 24 months, we'll be able to give much more.

I so often lose touch with biblical stewardship principles on a daily basis in the midst of rising gas prices, rising food prices, falling home values, rising (you fill in the blanks). It is so easy to think my job in life is to try to get a head, to always be looking for ways to maneuver through fast flowing turbulent financial times of my present life. What I need to do more of is rest, trust, and depend on my Lord. I want to recall more quickly that my wife and I do not own a thing, but, for our own good, God entrusts us with resources and ordains the circumstances so that we are drawn closer to Him, or so that the idols of our hearts are exposed as the usurper kings that they are. This is the big picture that puts perspective on everything. Debt snowballs, part-time jobs, baby steps, etc are not the end of the matter. In the midst of them though, the heart of giving comes before all else. It is through giving that the heart changes and becomes more like Christ the King. In the end, the goal with money is to become more like Christ by giving it all away.

1 comment:

Jason said...

It's been great following you through FPU. Keep us updated on your progress.