Resources: Money and Giving
A stubble-faced, leather-skinned vagrant approaches me and asks, “Can you spare some change?” It’s nothing new, but the last few years the faces have been getting younger, the requests more frequent and my responses less certain. A popular sign reads, “Will work for food.” Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it isn’t. (Unless I have a job to offer, how can I know?)
Today countless children grow up begging and grabbing and clinging onto all the things money can buy. As adults, they rarely outgrow this shallow self-centeredness, but simply graduate to more money and bigger toys. Living their lives on earth as if this were all there is, they fail to prepare for their eternal future.
- Sun, Jun 01, 1997
- Money and Giving
(A Finance Column written for New Man magazine, published June 1997)
If you have enough food, decent clothes, live in a home that shields you from the weather and own some kind of reliable transportation, you are in the top 15 percent of the world’s wealthy. Add some savings, a hobby like hunting or fishing that requires equipment, two cars (in any condition), a variety of clothing and your own house, and you have reached the top five percent.
You may not feel wealthy. But that’s because you’re comparing yourself to someone who owns even more.
Fame puts us in the power position, a position of influence where people will listen to us and follow us. But fame also sets us up for failure. God gives 3 specific warnings of what the King, the most famous and powerful person in the nation, should not do.
When it comes to our attitude toward wealth, Jesus gave commands. When it comes to our specific possessions and lifestyle, he gave us principles. Jesus did not hand us a precise checklist of what we can and cannot own, and how we can or cannot spend money. Jesus did not say just one thing about money and possessions. He said many things. They were not random clashing noises, but carefully composed melody and harmony to which we must listen as we develop our lifestyles.
Randy Alcorn has written twelve books (soon to be fourteen, with two more novels coming out in 2001), including the best-selling novels Deadline, Dominion, and Edge of Eternity. The royalties for those books all go into Eternal Perspective Ministries, which he founded and directs. But Eternal Perspective Ministries (www.epm.org) doesn't need the royalties to achieve its mission.
Benevolence is simply showing love through giving—giving of our money, time, and abilities to help the needy. So to talk about benevolence ministries is to talk about giving.