Who doesn’t want to be rich? I certainly wouldn’t mind it. But how much of a place should this desire occupy in our hearts?
The North American church is conflicted. Consider the following research/stats:
61% of Christians believe that God wants people to be financially prosperous.
48% of Christians believe Jesus was not rich and we should follow His example.
49% believe Christians don’t give enough to the poor.
57% do not believe 10% is the minimum God expects Christians to give.
(source: David Van Biema and Jeff Chu, “Does God want You to be Rich?” Time Magazine 6/18/06)
New research released by The Barna Group reveals that in 2007 just 9% of adult Americans who are Christians gave away 10 percent of their income to places of worship or nonprofits (tithing).
Now consider what scripture teaches:
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (NLT)
Hebrews 13:5 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” (MSG)
It’s time for us to get this thing straight. We have to get off the defensive side when it comes to our money. There has to be a more open atmosphere available for us to deal with this topic. But for those of you who wish I would mind my own business in this regard, I will borrow part of a posting from my friend Chris Goins “I love the way Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands describes his desire for his congregation as it relates to giving: “Don’t listen to me! Listen to God!””