Saturday, January 28, 2012

Financial Resources

Finances are the third resource after time and energy. Some may consider money to be the most important or even the only resource, but they are mistaken. Money is actually the least valuable in the sense that it is the most easily renewed. When all your money is spent, a simple investment of time and energy can again provide for your needs with some left over for others. In a wealthy society, money is easily wasted or can be invested in others for their good. This is the true benefit of money, its facility for providing for others who may be struggling to provide for themselves. The danger is when the giver just gives money without any true concern for the persons receiving or when the receiver becomes dependent on the giver with no intention of providing for their own needs in the future. This is why the giver must give wisely so that their gift is not creating a bigger problem down the road. The missionary, pastor or full-time Christian worker is an interesting exception. They actually are freed to invest all of their time and energy in ministry activities because others are 'employing' them and empowering them financially to do what God has called them to do.

Regarding the poor, I do not want to trivialize their situation. More than 50% of the world's population does not make enough money to provide for their basic needs. This is a huge problem that is not usually a result of their personal choices. Many times the government is to blame because they administer their resources poorly or actually steal from their people instead of serving their needs. More people could also be helped by Christians who put their faith and resources into action – but Jesus has clearly stated that the poor will always be with us. This gives us an opportunity not only to care for the needy, the orphaned, the sick, the outcast, teaching them to provide for themselves and others, but also for all who most certainly need the forgiveness and hope that is found in Jesus Christ. The church demonstrates the love of God when it acts in a way that reflects His concern for both the spiritual and physical needs of those outside the church.