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July 25, 2010


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I think it is Voddie Baucham Jr. that once said that "God does not have a problem with you owning stuff, He has a problem with stuff owning you".

It is a difficult balance. When I am having a bad day, I try to give myself perspective in that I know I have it better than the vast majority of the world.

Where I struggle is that I strive to provide the very best for my kids. I am not saying fancy clothes or cars, but experiences. If I could pick 2 areas of life I wish I had more money for, it would be for showing my kids parts of the world, and to have more money to share for causes I strongly believe in. Sometimes I am probably too 'focused' on the money portion, and I do think it is good to step back and look at what you do have, and not what you (or your family) might be missing.

The poor in america could be defined as the rich in others. Who else has a TV, Refigerator, place to live, etc. The worst house in detroit could be the ritz in a place like Jamacia. I know and I have see some of the shack towns in Jamacia and I feel safer in Detroit. It is just in detroit they don't have the barbed wire around the house like they do in Jamacia.

I do not take my "wealthy" living lightly in a modest house in a suburb, car, job,wife & kids. I give when and where I can and try not to let my "wealth" go to my head. I guess that is what they mean when the government wants to tax the wealthy. I assume that is me the middle class of america.

This is something the mainstream Church in America is just now starting to deal with... Not only can we let money own us it can also affect our relationship with God by making us never truly depend on or trust him for anything. Just look at what the bible says about Laodicea.

From Revelation 3:17
"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

The book "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream" by David Platt tackles this issue pretty well...

I've had the privilege of traveling to Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, Cambodia, The Dominican Republic and Haiti. There's nothing like a trip to a developing country to remind me of how rich I really am!

I think Paul is giving a great reminder to those who believe in the importance of saving and building wealth: that life, in the end, really isn't about how much we've saved for ourselves...but how much we've given to bless others.

A mentor challenged me several years ago to ask myself, "How much of what God has given me was meant for me...and how much is meant for others?" What I took from that is that I'm not meant to be a money reservoir, but a channel.

So I've taken John Wesley's maxim from his "Sermon 50: The Use of Money" to heart: "Make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can."

Matt - Well said.

Unfortunately it is not easy to compare yourself with those who you cannot see or know and consider yourself "rich" - even if it is true. It's much easier to compare yourself to those you see next door or read about in the news who have more and see yourself as lacking. Great message to help us at least try to realize how much we really have.

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