Christian Giving Principles (2 Corinthians 8)

(This is a post I wrote for onemoneydesign.com)

The largest discussion of Christian giving in the entire New Testament is found in 2 Cor. 8 & 9.  I have always wanted to tackle this passage in an extensive way.  Recently, I found the time to do just that.  Rather than provide a lengthy commentary on the passage, I decided to break it up into principles in the same order that Paul himself presents the topic.  I hope it benefits your walk with Christ and your desire to manage your money to His glory.

 Chapter 8
Generous giving starts with grace:  “We want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.” (8:1, NIV)  Paul’s in-depth discussion of biblical generosity begins and ends pointing towards God’s grace.

God’s power enables our giving:  “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity…they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” (8:2-3, NIV) How does poverty overflow into rich generosity? This sounds contradictory…because it is.  Biblical giving extends beyond empathy and humanitarianism because it is a process empowered by God–not limited by our trials, poverty, or ability.

Sacrificial giving is willing: “Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service.” (8:3-4, NIV)  Christ transforms the selfish sinner to one who urgently pleads for the “privilege” of giving generously.  If such willingness isn’t present in our hearts, let us seek Christ in this place.

Generosity follows surrender:  “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord” (8:5, NIV) First we give ourselves to the Lord and His work, and then generosity follows.  Much like the previous point, if we find ourselves ungenerous, let us give ourselves “first of all to the Lord.”

• Generosity is an act of grace: “This act of grace” (8:6, NIV).  Once again, we are reminded that grace is where generosity begins, continues, and ends.

• Generosity is part of a mature walk: “Since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (8:7, NIV).  We fool ourselves if we think we are mature Christians, yet lack generosity.  Giving generously is a sign of maturity and “excellence” in the faith.

• Generosity is a test of our love: “I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”  (8:8, NIV) Paul said that he wanted to compare the love of the Corinthians by comparing their willingness to be generous to others.  While that would definitely raise some hairs in modern churches, Paul had no problem using giving as a gauge for the sincerity of love.  We usually interpret the notion that it is not a “command” as liberty to not give…which, sadly, reveals the sincerity of our love.

• Sacrificial giving was Christ’s example: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (8:9, NIV)  Generous, sacrificial giving is nothing more (and nothing less) than following the example of Christ Himself. 

• There is a difference between wanting to give and actually giving: “Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it.” (8:10-11, NIV)  How often do we say we would, could, or should give, but it never amounts to anything?  The real test of our sincerity and maturity is found in what we actually give, not what we “desire” to give.

• Biblical generosity is according to means: “According to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” (8:11-12, NIV)  While we are called to sacrifice in order to give generously, it is not acceptable to give what we don’t have. 

• Equality, not self-denial, is the goal of generosity: “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality.” (8:13-14, NIV) Equality, community, and relationship drive biblical generosity…not self-denial.  The point is not for us to suffer so that others can be at ease.  Rather, the church is to care for one another as loving members of God’s family. Following Christ means letting some of our “plenty” go out to those who are ”hard pressed”. 

• Christian giving is part of God’s provision: The verse, “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little,” (8:15, NIV) is a reference to manna the Israelites gathered in the wilderness.  This is a remarkable comparision.  This equates God’s provision, miraculously falling from heaven, with our gifts sent to other Christians.  Part of God’s plan to provide is through the generosity of His people one to another.  Our gifts can be “manna”.

• Recipients of Christian generosity must have integrity: “We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” (8:20-21, NIV) Financial integrity and accountability are essential before God and man.  This includes caution, above and beyond efforts, and plurality (more than one person) to be without blame.

For more of my thoughts on giving, pick up a copy of my most recent book, The Secret of Generosity.

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A New Perspective on Christian “Sharing”

(This is a post I wrote for onemoneydesign.com)

I have to admit, we tend to think of “sharing” as something that we tell children to do as they rip toys out of each other’s hands.  But, if we are being honest, the instruction to “share” seems to disappear with our tea sets, tater tots, and superman sheets.  The entire notion that it is a virtuous quality to share what we have seems to go out with the tide of youth.  Think about it.  When was the last time you heard an adult being told they needed to share their “toys”?  What does the Bible have to say about our practice of “aging out” of the necessity to share?
 
As I was reading some of Randy Alcorn’s work, I was challenged by some of his ideas and dug deeper into the scripture regarding the simple word “share”.  I have to confess, I have always considered the word “share” to be synonymous with the word “give”.  Essentially, sharing meant giving in any and all translations, and there are many verses that encourage believers to share what they have.  In several of them, I think we could simply walk away from the verses equating sharing with giving and more or less be correct (Luke 3:11, Eph. 4:28, Heb. 13:16, NIV, for example).
 
However, while it might sound like I am splitting hairs (I’ll get to why this all matters in just a moment), I think there are several verses that depict sharing as a separate and different act of generosity.  Consider the following:
 
“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” (1 Tim. 6:18, NASB)
 
“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” (Gal. 6:6, NASB)
 
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Rom. 12:13, NIV)

 
These verses present sharing as something different than giving.  Paul tells the rich to be generous AND ready to share.  In the passage from Galatians, if share means give, then we are called to give all good things we have to our teachers of the word.  This doesn’t seem quite right.  Hospitality implies inviting people into our lives…not giving them our home.
 
In all of this, I present a different layer of Christian Generosity:  SharingThe simple act of allowing our resources to be used by others (willingly) is a biblical strand of a believer’s call to give.  I think that sharing has at least four impacts on a Christian’s life.
 
1. It creates another layer by which to reach the world with our generosity.  In some ways it’s easier and certainly more affordable!  Maybe we can’t buy/give a car to a ministry that operates primarily on Saturdays, but we could “share” our vehicle.  Opening up our minds to sharing greatly expands our capacity for generosity, and in many ways, stretches us differently than giving does.
 
2. It frees us of being owned by our possessions.  The Bible speaks strongly on the subject of not holding tightly to the things of this world.  What Alcorn calls “possessiveness”, we tend to be tenaciously protective of possessions we have convinced ourselves we hold loosely.  Essentially, if we aren’t willing to share a possession, it has an unhealthy grip on our hearts.  Sharing keeps us from putting too much priority on a worldly possession.  Letting someone else use our stuff forces us to loosen our grip (or get ulcers!).
 
3. It testifies that God is the owner of all things.  If we honestly believe that God owns all of us and all we have (all the world for that matter), then sharing is rather easy.  If we believe we own what we have, sharing is very difficult.  Christian sharing can be a strong testimony to a world that craves ownership.
 
4. It shows that God’s kingdom is our first priority.  If we share all we have for God’s glory, it shows that our possessions are not our purpose.  When everything we own is out on the table to be used as God sees fit, we can be assured that His kingdom is first in our hearts. Sharing is the product of a mindset focused on God’s purposes for our lives, our house, our car, our lawn mower, our ladder…
 
I think room remains for us to be inspired by the earliest days of the church:  “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32, NIV)  There is something liberating about extending our generosity beyond giving.  Sharing stretches us to consider that even ”our” possessions are not really our possessions–they are God’s, fully available to serve His purposes.  It requires a different type of generosity.  We can’t stay uninvolved when we share.  It requires communication, trust, and a perspective that puts God’s purposes above possessions, dings, dents, scratches, rips, tears, and maybe, even losing the item we are sharing.
 
When we tell children they must share, they often protest, “But this is mine!”  Will we respond in the same manner when God asks this of us?

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Christian Financial Alliance: Finding Your ‘Calling’ at Work?

The Christian Financial Alliance  was created to help readers.  The idea is this:  Create a panel of biblical finance gurus.  People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth.  Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice.  For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

 

“What is the connection between a Christian’s sense of ‘calling’ for their life and their professional career?”

“I think it varies from person to person. I view a “calling” as more of a faith-based area that you feel God is pointing you towards. For some people (like pastors, church musicians, etc.), the calling turns into a career. For others, their career is separate from their calling and they find non-vocational ways to fulfill that calling (like volunteering for a non-profit, serving on a church committee, etc.).” – FreeMoneyFinance.com

“I think God teaches us a lot through our professional careers.  The skills we learn and experience is something we can often apply to God’s calling for our lives.  I also think that today’s job may not be God’s plan tomorrow.  We should be honorable in our work and seek to glorify God in it.  Doing so will help us to be ready for new opportunities.” – OneMoneyDesign.com

“Well, if this is intended to mean the calling to the Christian life, then I would say the connection is that every aspect of their life should be influenced by that calling – including their professional career.  Everything they say or do should be dedicated to the glory and service of God and shouldn’t be segregated based on where you are or what day it is.” – ProvidentPlan.com

“Trying to intersect our professional career, our unique talents and gifts, and God’s ‘calling’ for our life is an awesome endeavor, but I think  that Christians often approach this type of idea backwards.  We aim for some perfect integration of profession, personality, and piety, yet somehow the vision of this sanctified career always seems to elude us.  I believe that we must begin by doing the simple things that God calls all of His children to do:  love God, worship, pray, serve, love others, study the word, help those in need, put to death sin, etc.  When we begin to be faithful with the things that we already know are God’s calling for our life, we begin to have a lot more clarity regarding the areas of our life where we aren’t sure where God is calling us.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

“Too often we separate life in categories and boxes.  However, everything we do – even eating and drinking – can be for God’s glory.  One must have a sense that their career is contributing value to the Kingdom.  If that is the case, then all they do in their profession is part of their calling.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

“I really believe that Christians get too confused about this issue when it should be simple.  You are where you are because God wants you to be there!  You can share the Gospel with anyone in every situation.  It’s not random chance that you work at a job you might not like.  You should follow your calling but within the lord’s will.” – FreeMoneyWisdom.com

“Our ultimate calling as Christians is to be an example of Christ to others in all that we do.  Paul didn’t let his career as a tentmaker stop him from ministering to others and sharing the Gospel of Christ.  He used it as a platform to support and propel his ministry journeys.  We should do the same.” – FaithandFinance.org

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

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Christian Financial Alliance: Why should we handle our money wisely?

The Christian Financial Alliance  was created to help readers.  The idea is this:  Create a panel of biblical finance gurus.  People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth.  Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice.  For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

 

“Name one non-financial benefit of managing your money wisely.”

“Peace. If you have no debt, have a solid emergency fund, and have saved/prepered for life’s various monetary challenges, you have a lot of peace in your life. You know you’re prepared if/when challenges arise. It’s a great, great feeling that most people can only dream about.” – FreeMoneyFinance.com

“Managing your money wisely can improve relationships because of more financial peace in the household.  Poor money management, such as over leveraging oneself, can wreak havoc on a marriage.  It adds more stress to relationships and can sometimes lead to divorce in the most extreme situations.  Spouses can actually grow their relationship when they manage their money wisely together.  However, the most important relationship that will grow is our relationship with the Lord.  God wants us to be faithful stewards.  When we follow His financial principles we can experience more joy because we are walking closer to God.” - OneMoneyDesign.com

“The best benefit I can think of is the ability to more fully experience the joy of giving.  Giving can be quite joyful even if you’re not managing your money well.  But if you are managing your money well, then worry about your own finances can’t come in and ruin the experience of giving for you.” – ProvidentPlan.com

“Freedom from slavery to self.  Our natural tendency (which shows up so clearly in the way we handle our money) is to put ourselves first all the time, in every thing.  Taking control of our money teaches us about contentment, generosity, self-control, etc.  In a lot of ways, it de-thrones the “me-first” mentality that is so prevalent in our culture and replaces it with a sense of purpose and perspective beyond numero-uno.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

“The greatest non-financial benefit of managing money wisely is joy.  It’s a blessing to be able to able to minister to others in their times of need.  God made us so that giving would bring us joy.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

“Peace of mind and less stress.  Not managing your money wisely increases the odds that you’re going to live a life with stress because you will most likely find yourself in a bad financial situation.  Manage your money wisely and save for your future, it’s much more appealing!” – FreeMoneyWisdom.com

“One non-financial benefit of managing your money wisely according to God’s word is that you’ll have a lot less stress in your life.  When you give, save, plan and honor God with your money it will mean that you’ll have less worries because you realize your money is actually God’s and you’re only a steward. When money doesn’t become the central focus or an idol in your life, you’ll be better able to use money as a tool to help others and to help the ones you love.  Plus, even if you were to lose it all – we know as Christians that God will supply all our needs.  Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”BibleMoneyMatters.com

“Less stress! More often than not, having merely a vague understanding of your finances causes worry and uncertainty. Taking as little as 10 minutes a week to go over your spending plan can greatly reduce un-needed stress. Plan wisely and chill out!” – StewardshipWeekly.com

“Managing our money wisely takes discipline, and discipline, if we grow it, is a virtue that serves us well in almost every area of life. It helps us work harder, make good decisions, and do things in life based on wisdom, rather than on our feelings. I’ve found that laziness in one area of my life tends to bleed over to other areas as well, but the good news is that discipline bleeds over too. When I’m walking in discipline in my financial life, I find myself more disciplined to work hard, exercise, eat well, spend time with God and build my family relationships. Life is more than just finances, and an attitude of discipline will help you all the way around.” – GodMoneyMe.com

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

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Why Did Jesus Challenge Followers to Give It “All” Away?

(This is a post I wrote for onemoneydesign.com)

In my recent book, The Secret of Generosity, I take a whole chapter to tackle the difficult question that faces every Christian that takes God’s word seriously:  Should we give it all away?

It’s a tough question, and one that merits consideration from anyone seriously considering the call of Christ.  After all, Jesus plainly told the rich young ruler:

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21, NIV)

Then, on another occasion, He used an analogy to explain that a person who builds a tower will first calculate the cost, and a king who goes to war will first consider his chances for victory.  Jesus then wraps up the discussion by stating:  “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14:33, NIV)  Jesus did anything but make it easy for His followers to hold tightly onto money and possessions.

Any way you look at it, these are tough verses to ponder.  (If you want hear my complete answer to these questions, you’ll have to pick up a copy of my book!)  However, while mulling over the challenge that Jesus’ blatant and bold statments present, and wrestling with just why Jesus would say something so bold, I had a profound thought hit me just the other day…what if He didn’t?

When we ask ourselves “why” Jesus spoke so boldly in this area, we should stop and take a moment to think about if He didn’t.  What if Jesus simply said, “Give what works for your budget”, or “Remember the poor every now and again”?  Certainly, we could all set our Bibles down a lot easier after a verse like that.  If would definitely be more comfortable and convienent.  But, there is no tension there, no spiritual discomfort, and no pressing against our sinful selfish nature.  We would simply be free to give what works for our budget, and move on with life as we know it (reaping no growth, no maturity, and no spiritual transformation).

Take holiness for example.  Jesus said, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48, NASB).  That pushes pretty hard against our sinfulness (to say the least!!).  And again, what if He said, “Be as holy as you can reasonable be”, or “Give holiness a good effort”.  Would it have the same effect?  Would it stir all sorts of convictions in our hearts to strive towards holiness if He described it in such a manner?  I don’t think so.

This leaves me with an interesting thought:  Perhaps Jesus spoke so radically for two reasons.  One, it casts us all back wholeheartedly upon His amazing grace.  Secondly, it forces us to realize that biblical generosity is something we will never have figured out, finished, and checked off our list.  We will pursue its high calling ever deeper as we mature.  In a sense, Jesus spoke of money, possession, and generosity in a way that challenges all of us, stretches all of us, and pulls us closer and closer to heaven all the way until the day we find ourselves in heaven itself.

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When is it “ok” for Christians to spend money on themselves?

(This is a post I wrote for onemoneydesign.com.)

Many Christians struggle with whether or not it is good, or godly, to spend money on our own enjoyment.  While there are a lot of ways one could respond to this question, I read a passage the other day that made me think of the very difficult question of how much should, could, or can a Christian spend on themselves.  It is found in first timothy:

“Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.  For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.” (1 Tim 4:3-4, NASB)

First and foremost, we must consider the context.  Paul is not speaking about spending money in these verses…he is speaking of eating various foods that were considered by Jewish standards to be “unclean”.  (This is not the only place he tackles this issue and arrives at the same conclusion, Col. 2:16.)  Therefore, I want to say loud and clear that I am digging a principle out the passage today, and if my conclusions stretch the context more than you are comfortable with, you have every right to disagree.  That being said…

Paul argues that forbidding marriage and abstaining from foods is not the purpose of the gospel.  In fact, he claims that ALL things are good if we receive them with gratitude.  Going even further, God created these things to be gratefully shared in.  Now, if you are a biblically astute believer, a few hairs should be raised on the back of your neck.  Paul makes one more statement we ought to consider before we go hogwild into hedonism carrying our “thankfulness card”  in our back pocket!  He wraps up this thought in verse five:

“For it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1 Tim 4:5, NASB)

We ought to consider all that God created to be good, and our enjoyment of those things are to be sancified by the means of God’s word and time spent in prayer.  What that means is that we should gratefully enjoy all that God has created with the wisdom of His word and His Holy Spirit (in prayer) to guide our enjoyment.

There is a real temptation to take a verse like 1 Tim. 4:4, say that “all things are good if we are thankful”, and run in the opposite direction of everything the Bible teaches.  This is not what Paul intended.  Instead, we are left with the principle that:  Our ability to enjoy things (including our money) is sanctified through our willingness to dig into the word and prayer regarding how to best utilize those resources.  When we do so considering our money, we will find the importance of things like generosity and contentment to short curcuit our apparently limitless capacity for selfishness.  When we pray, we are enlightened to the needs of people other than ourselves.  On the other hand, we find verses like these that give us the freedom to enjoy some of what God has created with gratitude rather than guilt.

In conclusion:  When we “baptize our budget” in the word and prayer, we will find freedom to enjoy some of that with which God has blessed us and wisdom for what to do with the rest.  When we proclaim everything we have ever recieved is for our own enjoyment as long as we are thankful, we are far from honest prayer and study of God’s word.

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Christian Financial Alliance: Thoughts on Retirement

The Christian Financial Alliance  was created to help readers.  The idea is this:  Create a panel of biblical finance gurus.  People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth.  Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice.  For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

 

“What is one thing a Christian should keep in mind while thinking about/planning for retirement?”

“That there’s no mention of retirement in the Bible — at least not the “quit work and enjoy the good life” sort of retirement. From a biblical standpoint, you simply move from one thing (work, a career) to another (serving for a non-profit, sharing your experience with those who can benefit from it). So “retirement” is not a vacation, simply a change of what you do during your “working” hours.”- FreeMoneyFinance.com

“I’m going to share a quote from a friend of mine who is a local financial advisor where I live and also in my men’s group at church:  “If retirement is like landing a plane, what is the best retirement plan?  Don’t land the plane (just let it run out of gas).” I love his quote.  Why?  There is no biblical reference in that we should stop working and live a life of leisure.  However, there is plenty on the subject of work.  So, invest for the future?  Yes.  But, do so with the intent of continuing to do some line of work.” - OneMoneyDesign.com

“Remember that God cares more for you than the birds and the grass of the field!  Don’t let worry and anxiety about retirement make you forget that God can and will provide for your needs as you live in His kingdom and seek His righteousness.  This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about or plan for retirement, but it does mean that we should remember Who is taking care of us.” – ProvidentPlan.com

“Many Christian resources will tell you that the Bible doesn’t talk about ‘retirement’ as we think of it (including some of my own books!), but I am beginning to think this isn’t exactly true.  We, as modern Americans, think of retirement as storing up enough to one day call it quits, kick back, take it easy, and enjoy life.  Jesus told a parable that sounded dangerously close to our modern concept of retirement.  In it, a man stored up many goods and said to himself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:19-21)  Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly wise (and biblical) to store up for future NEED, but the modern obession with stockpiling our resources to one day wallow in forty year’s worth of self-absorbed fantasy, the Bible calls foolish.  We ought to live lives that matter for eternity today, tomorrow, and in retirement.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

“Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, and he was talking about retirement accounts too right?  It’s foolish to worry about things we can’t control, but it’s even more foolish to ignore what we can control.  It’s just wise to be diligent in saving for retirement, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot right now.  Make it a priority to set aside money for your future.” – FaithandFinance.org

“I think Christians should alway have the story of the Rich Fool in mind when planning retirement.  While so many of us fear not having enough, an equally great concern is hoarding and accumulating too much.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

“Christians should invest for retirement but not make it their life’s focus.  There needs to be a balance between our retirement investments and how we steward our money while we are on this Earth.  Also, we need not stress about the market fluctuations because God will provide.  He promises us this as Christians so in theory we should be living a life of passion knowing that we have nothing to worry about because our Savior has us under His wings!” – FreeMoneyWisdom.com

“To me, the questions isn’t what we should remember to plan for during retirement, it is ‘Is retirement a Biblical concept?’.  If we are going to truly walk in the calling that God has given us, that will never stop.  If we are in a J.O.B. that we are counting down the days to retirement from, then we are in the wrong place.  Our calling should radiate out of every part of us, it should be what drives us and ultimately, if we are living in our callings, I think it will provide for us financially.  If we are doing what we love and doing what God has called us to, why would we ever stop? Read More…” - DiscipleshipGuy.com

“One thing to think about while planning for retirement as a Christian is whether you’ll actually be retiring or not – at least in the traditional sense.  I think a lot of people think of retirement as a prolonged period of relaxation and enjoyment of activities you didn’t have time to pursue while you’re still working. 9:30am tee-time every day anyone? Most people assume they’ll also stop working as well.  As far as I can tell there aren’t many references to retirement in the bible, and in the few places it does talk about stopping work (like Numbers 8: 23-26) it still talks about how those who no longer work should help and assist others.  By the same token I think we should take up that idea of serving others in retirement.  Volunteer more at your church, get involved with your community, help those who are less fortunate, serve at a soup kitchen, go on missions trips.  In other words, continue working while serving and giving to others.  Of course if you’re no longer working a job in retirement it is important to think about what your priorities are, and think about downsizing and saving up enough to allow you to give and serve more once your full time working days are done.” – BibleMoneyMatters.com

“We should keep in mind that retirement is really a cultural idea.  I can’t think of any biblical examples of retirement as we know it.  Our whole lives are to be lives of service, contribution, and making a difference.  Of course, health issues may prevent us from working for pay in our later years.  So, it’s wise to save for our later years – not so wise to save out of a desire to spend the last part of our lives at the beach.” – MattAboutMoney.com

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

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Biblical Guidelines for Giving (Excerpts from The Secret of Generosity)

FreeMoneyFinance.com ran a series of posts from my recent release: The Secret of Generosity.  In the following posts, you will find my chapter titled: “Giving 101, A Crash Course on Biblical Giving.”  In this chapter I attempted to offer a simple, down to earth look at what principles are “essential” and “non-essential” in the giving life of a Christian.

Part 1, Essentials (and Flunking the Course)

Part 2, The “Tithe” (Click here for my position paper on tithing.)

Part 3, Non Essentials

 

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